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Sri Lanka cigarette sales recovering fast from 38-pct plunge in Coronavirus lockdown

ECONOMYNEXT – Ceylon Tobbacco Plc, a unit British American Tobacco that that has a monopoly in cigarette production said volumes fell 38 percent in the June 2020 quarter from a year earlier amid a Coronavirus lockdown and is recovering fast.

The firm said sales taxes paid by the firm to the government fell 9 billion rupees to 18.6 billion rupees to 27.6 billion rupees as sales fell from 36.2 billion rupees in the June 2019 quarter to 24.1 billion rupees in 2020.

Income taxes fell to 1.0 billion rupees, from 2.9 billion rupees.

Sri Lanka locked down the economy tightly in late March and has largely controlled the spread of Coronavirus with aggressive tracing and quarantine, though gaps were seen in testing.

“Post June, the business recovery is reverting to nearly pre COVID-19 levels encouragingly faster than anticipated and the business is cautiously optimistic of the future in anticipation of revival of the economy,” Ceylon Tobacco told shareholders in the interim report.

“CTC continues with Work from Home arrangements for office-based employees utilizing IT capabilities to facilitate seamless remote working conditions, while other critical responsibilities are discharged from respective locations subject to taking all necessary health and safety precautions.’

CTC reported profits of 3.1 billion rupees for the June 2020 quarter, down from 4.68 billion rupees last year.

Earnings were down to 16.56 rupees per share in the June 2020 quarter, from 25.00 rupees a year earlier. (Colombo/June16/2020)