BAT Unaffected by Virus Outbreak
British American Tobacco (BAT) has seen no material impact from the outbreak of Covid-19, the company said during a webcast on March 18.
Consumers continue to purchase tobacco products, even in the hardest hit areas. “We don’t see any change in patterns of consumption of cigarettes because of Covid-19,” said Jack Bowles, chief executive officer of BAT. “It is a daily purchase, so consumers continue to go to shop, even in Italy and France where tobacco shops are still open.”
BAT faced some manufacturing disruptions in February in China due to the virus outbreak, but production resumed in March.
The company will not revise its forecasts of a 4 percent decline in 2020 cigarette and tobacco-heating product industry sales and a 5 percent decline in the United States, according to Reuters. BAT also maintains its forecast of 3 percent to 5 percent for constant currency adjusted revenue growth as well as its forecast of high single digits for earnings per share growth.