British American Tobacco reiterated its revenue guidance of £5 billion ($6.27 billion) for 2022, anticipating that its diversification into noncombustible products will pay off.
The new business line “is increasingly contributing to group performance, and we are confident in delivering our £5 billion New Category revenue and profitability targets by 2025”, said BAT CEO Jack Bowles in a statement, adding that the company continues to drive value through its combustibles business.
The noncombustible product consumer base reached 19.4 million in the first quarter of the year, according to BAT. In the first half of the fiscal year, the company invested more than £1 billion to build its brands in this product segment. Its portfolio of non-combustible products includes vapor products, nicotine pouches, tobacco heating products and other oral products.
BAT’s Vuse vapor cigarette now holds a value market share of 35.9 percent in the U.S., up 3.4 percentage points in the year to date versus 2021. Vuse debuted in the U.K. in May and the company anticipates further rollouts for the second half of 2022.
BAT said it continues to enjoy volume share leadership in Modern Oral in Europe, with 69.3 percent of the market.
Like many multinationals, BAT has been impacted by the war in Ukraine, which has increased global uncertainty and disruption, further exacerbating inflationary pressures on supply chains. In March, BAT announced that its ownership of the business in Russia was no longer sustainable. The company is in the process of transferring its Russian business to a third party.
“While we are not immune to these pressures, we are confident in delivering on our current financial targets, irrespective of the timing of the transfer of our Russian business,” said Bowles. “This is thanks to our well-established multi-category strategy, our strong portfolio of global brands and our resilient, highly cash generative business.”
While considering BAT’s aspiration to reach £5 billion of sales and achieve profitability in its new products stream “achievable,” Ross Hindle, an analyst at Third Bridge, noted the significance of Russia and Ukraine to BAT. “Russia and Ukraine are very important heated tobacco markets, they are even more important for BAT than PMI, with 26 percent of their heated tobacco sales coming from the region historically,” he told Proactive.