KAMPALA – British American Tobacco Uganda Limited (BAT Uganda) has announced the approval of shs10.2 billion (Ushs209 per share) as a first and final dividend for the year ended 31st December 2021.
The dividend was reached by the shareholders during the Company’s 22nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held by electronic means. The dividend, which will be paid net of withholding tax on 11th July 2022, is in line with the Company’s 100% dividend payout policy.
The company’s Managing Director, Mathu Kiunjuri revealed that they were able to beat all the odds of trading difficulty in 2021 to make a yield.
“Despite the adverse impact of an exceptionally difficult trading environment in 2021, we are happy to have made a profit resulting in a dividend payout to our shareholders. BAT Uganda’s business fundamentals remain strong, and the Company’s commitment to Uganda is unwavering.”
He said that the year 2021 saw a significant increase in illicit trade in tax-evaded cigarettes following the implementation of the Tobacco Control Regulations, 2019 (TCR), with several illicit cigarette variants displaying irregular graphic health warnings or no such warnings at all.
“Additionally, notwithstanding the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, there has been slow economic recovery with consumer disposable incomes remaining low which continues to impact product uptake. These two factors resulted in a material reduction in our sales volumes, revenues and profitability.”
He says that the adverse operating environment’s impact on business performance was mitigated through effective support to their trade partners, “excellence in execution by our people and sustained investment in our brands. We continue to make progress on implementing our strategy to build A Better tomorrow, with our Health, Environment, Social and Governance (HESG) agenda at the center of our business.”
BAT Uganda Chairman, Dr. Elly Karuhanga said they believe that a stable regulatory environment is crucial for sustainable business and economic growth.
He says that much as they acknowledge and appreciate the Government’s efforts to address illicit trade, more needs to be done.
“We, therefore, continue to urge the relevant authorities to enforce the Tobacco Control Laws wholistically across the industry.”
“Looking ahead, we reiterate our commitment to our continued contribution to Uganda’s socio-economic development. This includes through partnerships with over 30,000 Ugandans in our value chain and remittance of significant tax revenues to the Government,” he said.
“We are as optimistic about the future as we are confident about the initiatives in place to secure a better performance and ensure delivery of superior returns for our shareholders. With the right products and the right people, working hard to ensure our strategy is executed effectively and efficiently, I look forward to many successful years ahead for our business.”