A unit of British American Tobacco Holdings, Ceylon Tobacco Company said it paid eight percent more in taxes during the six-months to June this year, over the same period a year earlier.
Sri Lanka’s cigarette consumption has gradually slowed over the years, as the government enacted tough laws and stepped-up awareness campaigns to curb smoking.
In a Stock Exchange filing on its interim financials, the Colombo-based company noted a two-percent drop in cigarette volumes during the period under review.
For the three-months to June, CTC reported 20.8 billion rupees in gross revenues, over 19.1 billion reported in the same period 2011. The company paid out 13.5 billion rupees in taxes during the quarter, as against 12.6 billion a year earlier.
It reported net revenues of 4.8 billion rupees, over 4.2 billion rupees in the corresponding quarter.
Profits grew to 2.4 billion rupees in the June quarter, up from 1.8 billion rupees a year earlier.
The stock reported earnings per share of 12.84 rupees. It is among the top dividend paying firms and paid 12.80 rupees per share during the interim period.
For the six-month to June, CTC reported net profits of 3.9 billion rupees over 2.6 billion rupees a year earlier.
It said six-months profits were driven largely by one-off improvements in US dollar deposits (due to a weak rupee) and an aggressive cost savings drive.
“While overall volume was down, CTC recorded a 56 percent growth in the premium segment, driven by the launch of its innovative variant Dunhill SWITCH, which now accounts for nearly 48.0 percent of the Dunhill business,” the company told shareholders.
Export volume rose 78.0 percent off a small base, which helped sales from overseas shipments to rise to 43.0 million rupees in June, from 19.0 million rupees a year earlier.
To remain competitive, CTC has trimmed costs and improved productivity in labour and materials over the years.
British America Tobacco owns 84.13 percent of CTC’s stock.