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British American Tobacco ups revenue forecast as non-tobacco products pick up

Currency movements will take off some of the gains due to the weak dollar

British American Tobacco PLC -
An oral tobacco product

British American Tobacco PLC (LON:BATS) has upgraded its revenue forecasts this year due to better-than-expected sales of non-tobacco products such as pouches and vapes.

The cigarette group said it now expects revenues to grow by 5% on a constant currency basis in 2021 (against a previous forecast of 3-5%) after record growth in numbers of non-burning product customers.

Currency movements, however, will take off some of the gains with the FTSE 100 group expecting an 8% currency headwind both in the first half and the full year.

Jack Bowles, chief executive, said: “ We added +1.4mln non-combustible product consumers in Q1, to reach a total of 14.9mln.

“We are growing New Categories at pace, encouraging more smokers to switch to scientifically substantiated reduced-risk alternatives.”

BAT has targets of 50mln consumers of non-combustible products by 2025:and carbon neutrality its own operations by 2030, which Bowles added he was confident of meeting.

In tobacco, BAT was helped by better pricing and a recovery in the US, while its vapour brand Vuse is now close to market leadership with a 31% share.

Oral products brand Velo consolidated its market share at around 40%, while heated product glo's market share rose to 16%.

“In summary, we are accelerating our transformation with increased investment capitalising on our growing momentum in the New Categories and a record quarter for consumer acquisition," said Bowles.

Quick facts: British American Tobacco PLC

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Price: 2658 GBX

Market Cap: £60.99 billion

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