Sri Lanka’s CTC net up 15-pct; says beedi boom amid tax hikes

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc (CTC), a unit of British American Tobacco, said net profits for the December 2018 quarter grew 15.7 percent to 5.2 billion rupees, despite a tax-driven price increase in August that reduced volumes.

The firm reported earnings of 28.11 rupees per share for the quarter. In the year to December, the firm reported earnings of 90.77 rupees on total profits of 17.04 billion rupees, up from 14.5 billion rupees a year earlier.

Ceylon Tobacco said revenues with taxes grew 7.5 percent to 37.8 billion rupees, turnover taxes grew 6.1 percent to 29.1 billion rupees, and net revenues grew 12.8 percent to 8.6 billion rupees.

After a tax and price hike in August, the CTC said volumes fell 3.2 percent.

For 2018, the firm claimed a boom in ‘beedi’ to 4.8 billion sticks a year, a steep increase from last year’s numbers, amid a weak economy.

In 2017, the CTC said legal tax-paid cigarettes comprised 3.15 billion sticks and beedi was 3.78 billion sticks.

For the full year, the CTC said its volumes were flat.

Smuggled cigarettes were estimated at 460 million with 51 million sticks caught in raids. The firm estimates smuggled cigarettes at 10 times the detected volumes. (Colombo/Feb18/2018-SB)

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