Tobacco firm British American Tobacco Philippines is searching for the opportunity of providing new brands to the Philippines to expand its market share.
“BAT is expanding its geographical reach to help boost its sales,” said BAT Philippines general manager James Lafferty on February 11.
British American Tobacco is also taking into consideration production of its tobacco products in the Philippines.
“The company is checking the potential for production in the country. Maybe BAT can collaborate with an existing manufacturer, but that is still being thought about,” said Lafferty, who said that the review will be done within the year.
Presently, BAT Philippines imports cigarettes from its factory in Malaysia.
The cigarette maker declared last December that it intends to spend $200 million in the Philippines over the next five years, though production is not element of its authorized investment plan.
BAT, the British-based tobacco company, producers Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike, and Pall Mall cigarettes. With company Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Philippines Corp. holding a 93% monopoly of the market, BAT had urged the passage of the Sin Tax Law, stating it would help value the playing field for other companies. The sin tax reform measure eliminates the price freeze used to levy tobacco products under the present system—which gains older brands such as PMFTC, which are taxed based on 1996 prices, unlike newer brands which are taxed based on their present prices.