Govt. revenue from fags up 12% to Rs. 54 b; CTC issues warning on beedi

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:29 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Ceylon Tobacco Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) said yesterday it contributed Rs. 54 billion to Government revenue in the first nine months of 2014, a 12% increase over same period last year despite a 10% volume drop in the domestic sales, driven predominantly by challenging market conditions. CTC also said Sri Lanka Customs statistics indicate that beedi volumes have grown by almost 200% over the past six years. This growing preference can be attributed to beedi remaining a cheap substitute to the cigarette smokers in Sri Lanka. The growth in beedi together with the prevalent drought conditions in some parts of the country and its impact on disposable income significantly contributed to the decline in cigarette volumes. “The law enforcement agencies continue to effectively curtail the spread of unauthorised and illicit tobacco products. In the first nine months of 2014, a total of 843 raids have yielded 28 million illegal cigarettes being seized thus protecting a market value of Rs. 840 million,” CTC said. The company’s profit after tax stood at Rs. 6.6 billion for the first nine months ended 30 September 2014. Although volumes in totality were lower than the same period last year, investments continued to infuse value in its mainstream brand John Player Gold Leaf with the successful implementation of the pack upgrade. Export sales revenue increased by Rs. 145 million. “The company will continue its endeavour to improve export performance into the future,” CTC said. CTC’s flagship CSR initiative, SADP (Sustainable Agricultural Development Program), continues its voyage of alleviating poverty in Sri Lanka, having supported a total number of 16,964 families totalling 65,002 beneficiaries in 16 districts in Sri Lanka to date CTC is in the process of implementing pictorial health warnings in compliance with the deadlines set down by the Supreme Court ruling on 11 June. All cigarette packets manufactured by CTC from 1 January 2015 will carry pictorial warnings covering 60% of the front and back surfaces of the packs. All cigarette packets manufactured and issued before 1 January 2015 should be sold before 1 February 2015. CTC Board has recommended a third interim dividend of Rs. 11.10 per share to be paid by 26 November 2014.