Seeking tax stability

    British American Tobacco Kenya has ratcheted up pressure against further increases in excise duty, according to a story in Business Daily Africa.
    BAT Kenya reportedly said on Friday that ‘unpredictable’ tax increases were a threat to its Kenya business.
    “We would encourage the government to have a much more stable tax environment so that we can have a more predictable operating environment,” the company’s MD, Beverly Spencer-Obatoyinbo, said in Nairobi.
    But tobacco control advocates have been piling pressure on the government to raise taxes on cigarettes from the current Sh2.50 per stick to Sh3.25 per stick, claiming they are still too low to curb tobacco consumption.
    “Currently, the average growth in the nominal price of a pack of cigarettes is lower than that of kerosene and food, and therefore cigarette smoking is going up,” said Rodgers Kidiya, the program officer in charge of research and development at the Nairobi-based International Institute for Legislative Affairs.
    BAT reported a 21.2 percent drop in full-year net profit to Sh3.3 billion, attributing this to lower sales in the wake of a weak performances on both local and export markets.