British American Tobacco, maker of Lucky Strike brand, presents strong growth at the beginning of 2013 as the government began introducing the sin tax reform regulation.
James Lafferty, BAT Philippines general manager, said that the firm expects increased cigarette sales this year as compared with 2012.
In 2012, BAT did not succeed in reaching sales goal of 150 million items mostly because of the unjust tax treatment charged on new brands under the old excise tax law.
“Last year the company sold a few million items, but this is the hundred billion items in the market,” Lafferty said.
BAT Philippines general manager said BAT has began investing in the Philippines, as part of its pledge to spend $200 million once the sin tax reform law is launched.
“The $200 million is BAT’s minimum investment plan for the Philippine, it would certainly grow once the company determined to investment in a production facility,” he said.
Nevertheless, the production facility is not likely to be constructed anytime soon since BAT will continue importing tobacco products from Malaysia. “BAT has been importing cigarettes from Malaysia with Filipino leaf. The company will continue import while studying production options. BAT will manufacture at Malaysia in the future but it does not have a proposal yet,” he said.
Currently, BAT is the smallest in the Philippine tobacco market which is led by PMFTC Incorporated. PMFTC has a 93 percent share, while Mighty Corp. rates a far second. Other top 3 tobacco companies are Japan Tobacco International, La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Factory Incorporated and Anglo American.