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BAT calls on Govt to help fight illicit trade

BAT Uganda’s Managing Director, Mathu Kiunjuri

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | BAT Uganda has called upon the Government to ramp up efforts to curb illicit trade in cigarettes, which it says is impacting the sustainability of its business. In its 2022 performance results, the company says it recorded a 6% revenue growth, to Shs99.5 billion.

Profit before tax dropped by 6% to Shs14.3 billion, reflecting a higher cost of operations which more than offset the increase in revenue. BAT Uganda’s Managing Director, Mathu Kiunjuri said: “Whilst our business remains resilient, we reiterate our concern regarding the escalating prevalence of the illicit trade in tobacco products.

At the end of 2022, the illicit trade incidence in illicit tax-evaded cigarettes stood at approx. 29%, up from 24% in 2021 despite the efforts in place to curb it.” He added: “We acknowledge and appreciate efforts by the Government to fight illicit trade, including seizure of illicit cigarettes by the Uganda Revenue Authority, especially at the border towns in the North and Eastern parts of the country.

Looking ahead, executives said, we reiterate our commitment to our continued contribution to Uganda’s socio-economic development and delivery of sustainable returns for our shareholders.

This includes through partnerships with over 30,000 Ugandan traders in our value chain and remittance of significant tax revenues to the government, which increased by 4% to Shs56.1 billion in 2022.”

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