Ceylon Tobacco nets Rs. 32.7 b in taxes to Govt. in 1H

Saturday, 3 August 2013 00:38 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Ceylon Tobacco Company contributed Rs. 32.7 billion to Government revenue which is a 5% increase compared to the same period last year. This was achieved despite a 7.3% volume drop, in the backdrop of challenging economic conditions especially in the first quarter. The company’s profit after tax stood at Rs. 4.3 billion, driven by higher revenue, better product mix and higher net interest income stemming from change in the investment strategy made in 2012. While the total volume was down, Dunhill which represent the niche premium segment grew by 7% compared to the same period last year, fuelled by its innovative variant Dunhill Switch. Export sales revenue increased by 13% to Rs. 47.6 million. The company will continue its endeavour to improve export performance into the future. Law enforcement agencies continued to effectively curtail the spread of unauthorised and illicit cigarettes. In the first six months of 2013, a total of 492 raids carried out by the enforcement agencies resulted in the confiscation of 40.2 million illegal cigarettes at a market value of Rs. 844 million, whereas the total number of cigarettes confiscated during the same period last year was 34 million sticks. This increase in illicit cigarettes poses a real threat to volume which can adversely impact revenue streams for the company and the Government. It also increases the risk of sub-standard products reaching the consumers. CTC’s flagship CSR initiative, SADP (Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme) in its sixth year, is focusing on supporting 2,576 active farmers in the districts of Kilinochchi, Kandy, Matara and Hambantota in 2013. It also launched SADP Ultra to 4,100 tobacco farmers with an objective of introducing social responsibility in tobacco production (SRTP). SADP continues its voyage of alleviating poverty, supporting a total number of 16,164 families to date CTC has challenged in courts the regulations published by the Minister of Health to implement pictorial health warnings covering 80% of the printable area on cigarette packs. The implementation of the regulations has been deferred pursuant to an interim order made by the Supreme Court to maintain the status quo until the case is taken up for hearing of CTC’s appeal for a stay order. The Supreme Court has now fixed the hearing for 20 September 2013. In the interim, as directed by the Supreme Court, CTC will endeavour to reach a compromise with the Ministry of Health with regard to a mutually agreeable set of regulations.