British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT) remains concerned by the current high level of illegal cigarette trade which forms the main challenge in the short-, medium-term for the legal tobacco industry.
This is evident after a sharp incidence increase from 36.9 per cent in 2015 to a record high of 57.1 per cent of total cigarette consumption as of December 2016, its managing director Erik Stoel said.
“The illegal cigarette trade has surpassed the legal market volumes.
“The outlook of 2017 is highly dependent on the of the government’s initiatives to curb the illegal trade,” he told reporters after BAT’s annual general meeting here today.
On BAT’s side, Stoel said the company has taken a bold step in transformative change to its business model in 2016 that will sharpen its commercial capabilities while optimising supply chain and transactional activities.
“The group has a long-standing legacy and presence within the Malaysian economic landscape.
“While there are currently big challenges facing the tobacco industry, the group has in place a clear strategy and commitment to invest, to help the group navigate through these challenging times,” he said.
– NST Online