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Tougher Laws On Smoking Threaten BAT Profit Run 

Jump to full article: All-Africa.com, 2008-05-07
Author: Steve Mbogo / Business Daily (Nairobi)


Contract manufacturing helped boost cigarette maker British America Tobacco Kenya profits, but concerns remain over the company's ability to maintain the growth trend after June when the Tobacco Control Act comes becomes operational.

Shareholders expressed fears of business failure because of the increasing anti-smoking lobbying and the possibilities of legal suits from affected smokers.

During the company's Annual General Meeting yesterday, shareholders urged the company to diversify to bio-fuel and optimise its earnings from carbon credits trade. . . .

Earlier this month, a British anti-tobacco lobby known as ASH said in a report that profit achieved by the global tobacco company in Africa was causing ill health and deaths.

The ASH said while smoking is declining in the West, BAT's profits in Asia and Africa grew by £2 million to £470 million last year. But BAT corporate and regulatory affairs manager for sub-Saharan Africa Keith Gretton refuted the claims saying BAT's profit in Europe grew from £781 million to £842 million last year-an increase of over £60 million.

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