BAT made great progress against its strategy in 2022 despite a challenging external environment, according to chairman Luc Jobin.
Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting on April 19, Jobin noted that BAT’s new category business delivered strong volume, revenue and market share growth. The group, he said, delivered a 150 basis points improvement in adjusted operating margin at current rates and delivered another year of 100 percent operating cash conversion. “We also returned £6.9 billion ($8.57 billion) to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks,” said Jobin in a statement.
Around 15 percent of BAT’s revenue is now generated from noncombustible products, a twofold increase since 2018, according to Jobin. “At the end of 2022, we had 22.5 million consumers of our noncombustible products,” he said. “The upward trajectory, and the momentum we have, provides a clear pathway to reaching our goal of 50 million consumers by 2030.”
While expressing satisfaction with the progress BAT had made in transitioning smokers toward less harmful nicotine products, Jobin noted that BAT could not reduce the health impact of its business by itself.
“Policymakers, regulators and public health advocates must help build the science base and create the policy frameworks necessary for adult smokers to switch to less risky alternatives,” he said.
“As a board, it is our responsibility to make sure that BAT’s own transformation continues apace.”