Layoffs at BAT Malaysia

British American Tobacco (BAT) will lay off about 20 percent of its workforce in Malaysia, reports The Edge Markets. The company employs about 500 people in Malaysia.

Earlier, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) announcement that it was laying off more than one-third of its 450-strong workforce in the country.

In 2017, both BAT and JTI closed down their manufacturing plants in Malaysia, which affected about 500 workers.

BAT Malaysia Managing Director Erik Stoel attributed the layoffs to challenging external market forces, including stubbornly high levels of illicit cigarette trade and tax-led price increases along with a rapidly growing market for illegal vapor products.

“With the reorganization, the company will be able to optimize its way of working,” said Stoel. “This will ensure that the company is better placed to meet ever-evolving consumer needs and deliver savings that can be reinvested into accelerating growth into the new categories.”