British American Tobacco (BAT) Zimbabwe sales volume for the first quarter ended 31 March 2021 withstood the COVID-19 induced hard lockdown to post a 3 percent increase in volume sales compared to the same period in prior year.
In January, authorities introduced a 21-day hard lockdown which was extended by 14 days and it impacted heavily on businesses who were still reeling from effects of 2020 lockdowns.
In its latest trading update for the quarter, BAT said the sales increase was due to, “consumers increased uptake in the Value for Money brands.
“Consumer uptake in The Value for Money brands, Madison and Everest moved up by 10% relative to the same period in prior year,” said BAT.
The Company’s net turnover, in hyper-inflation accounting terms, increased by 75 percent (586% in historical cost terms) compared to the same period in prior year driven by price increases as well as revenue generated from the export of cut-rag tobacco.
However, the Company`s Premium brand, Dunhill increased volume by 91 percent as it returned to the market in the final month of the first quarter.
The Aspirational brands, Dunhill Newbury and Dunhill Kingsgate volumes declined by 55 percent compared to same period in prior year mainly because of reduced consumer disposable incomes hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Company said it will review its business model and related strategies to ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of the business.
The group anticipates that Government’s drive for vaccinations will speed recovery in the economy going forward.