KT&G reported a net profit of KRW274.23 billion ($206 million) for the first quarter of 2023, up 4 percent over the comparable 2022 period, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The South Korean cigarette maker credited increased exports for its improved numbers.
“Increased tobacco sales in emerging markets, such as Indonesia, Africa and Latin America helped the quarterly bottom line,” KT&G wrote in a statement.
However, quarterly operating profit fell 4.9 percent year-on-year to KRW316.55 billion, due in part to higher leaf tobacco and other raw materials costs. Sales were down 0.5 percent to KRW1.4 trillion from KRW1.403 trillion during the cited period.
In January, KT&G signed a 15-year supply contract with Philip Morris International, the allows the South Korean cigarette maker to distribute its Lil tobacco-heating products through the multinational’s extensive global sales network.
KT&G aims to earn more than half of its sales from overseas businesses in 2027. It targets sales of KRW10 trillion won in 2027, compared with KRW5.9 trillion in 2022.
KT&G has exported its tobacco-heating products to more than 30 countries since 2020 through the PMI’s distribution network.
The South Korean company earns 90 percent of its overall sales from the cigarette business division and 10 percent from its tobacco-heating products division.
KT&G has four tobacco manufacturing plants, one each in South Korea, Russia, Turkey and Indonesia, whose combined capacity amounts to 13.6 billion cigarettes a year.