Gallaher enjoys 15% surge in pre-tax profits

Tobacco company Gallaher, which makes Benson & Hedges cigarettes, today reported a 15% surge in pre-tax profits for last year and said 2003 was on track to meet market expectations.

Tobacco company Gallaher, which makes Benson & Hedges cigarettes, today reported a 15% surge in pre-tax profits for last year and said 2003 was on track to meet market expectations.

The group, which also makes the Silk Cut brand and Hamlet cigars, said sales in the year to December 31 had risen by 42% to 152.7 billion cigarettes, driven by strong growth across international operations.

Pre-tax profits were £378m (€548m) compared with £329m (€477m) in 2001, aided by the first full year of contributions from Austria Tabak, the firm Gallaher acquired in 2001.

Turnover soared by 47% to £8.4bn (€12.1bn) because of the benefit of Austria Tabak sales.

Since floating in 1997, Gallaher has been pushing its expansion overseas in an effort to reduce its exposure to the flagging UK market.

The move has seen Gallaher increase its presence in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Central Asia and Asia Pacific. It is pushing into China after establishing offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

In the UK, which provides 44% of revenue, Gallaher said it had reversed the recent downward trend in market share with volumes down a fraction to 21.4 billion cigarettes from 21.5 billion in 2001.

Cheaper brands such as Mayfair are playing a bigger part in the UK market where cigarette consumption has fallen as smokers give up, cut back or take advantage of lower-taxation on cigarettes purchased in Europe.

More in this section

Price info
IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Budget 2022 Logo

What impact will this  year's budget have on you and your business.

The Business Hub
Newsletter

News and analysis on business, money and jobs from Munster and beyond by our expert team of business writers.

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up