British American Tobacco said that it expects to complete the sale of its Russian business to its local partner in 2023, as it exits Russia — where it controlled almost a quarter of the market before the country invaded Ukraine.
The Lucky Strike cigarette maker, which had said in March 2022 that it would exit Russia after Moscow's invasion, is also set to transfer its Belarusian unit this year.
The company reported its full-year adjusted profit from operations at €13.99 billion (£12.4 billion), a jump of 11%, driven by strong demand for its e-cigarettes and oral nicotine products.
It said that it was confident of achieving €5.64 billion £5 billion in revenue from its 'New Category' division by 2025, and expect profitability from the division by next year.
It invested more than €2.26 billion (£2 billion) in this division over the course of the last year.
In a statement Jack Bowles, chief executive, noted that the past year has demonstrated BAT's ability to "successfully navigate an increasingly challenging macro-economic environment", while also returning €7.78 billion (£6.9 billion) to shareholders.
"Looking forward, while we expect the macro-economic environment to remain challenging, we will continue to deliver and further accelerate our transformation.
"We will leverage our well-established multi-category brand portfolio, our new regional structure to enable even greater collaboration and accelerated decision-making and our new market archetype model to guide our strategic choices and resource allocation to further enhance returns," he added.
"I am confident in BAT's ability to deliver long-term sustainable value for shareholders.”
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