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Lucky Strike-maker British American Tobacco enjoys boost in vape sales

Dunhill, Lucky Strike and Kent cigarette-maker British American Tobacco saw sales of traditional cigarettes fall while the growth of its vaping and non-combustible products soared.

The company’s cigarettes remain by far its biggest sellers – raking in £22 billion in 2021, but down 3.2% on last year.

By comparison, its non-combustible products recorded sales of £3.2 billion – a jump of 21.9%.

Total sales were £25.7 billion, down 0.4%, with pre-tax profits up from £8.6 billion to £9.2 billion in the year.

Smokers turned to their cigarettes again, with the company highlighting Bangladesh Pakistan, Vietnam, Brazil and Chile showing signs of recovery since the pandemic eased.

Those smokers offset falls in volume in Indonesia, the US, Ukraine, Russia and Japan.

About 18.3 million people picked up one of BAT’s vape sticks or non-cigarette products in the year – up 4.8 million on the previous year – and bosses said they remain on track to deliver £5 billion of revenue from the division by 2025.

Vaping has become more popular for BAT in the past year (Nick Ansell/PA)

(PA Wire)

Its Vuse vape brand is now the leading brand by value share globally, the company said, with sales up 59%, while its tobacco heating product, glo, saw sales up 46%.

Its Velo nicotine pouches saw sales up 41%.

Investment in new products hit £496 million in 2021, with losses for new categories dropping by £100 million.

Bosses added they expect to be profitable in new product categories by 2025.

Jack Bowles, chief executive of the business, told the PA news agency he has no concerns over a slowdown in the growth of its new product areas in some markets.

“We are growing everywhere and that is what’s important to us right now,” he said.

“We are in a very good position and have a long-term investment plan which will keep us moving in this direction.

“There is a lot more space to grow and customers are switching in large numbers, so we are really happy with this position.”

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