Ceylon Tobacco Co. ’s profit margin will continue to narrow as an increase in levies on cigarettes prompts some smokers to switch to the cheaper alternative, said Emma Ridley, finance director of the Colombo-based BAT unit. The company’s operating profit margin , the highest among listed Asian peers, narrowed to 64 percent in 2016 from 67 percent a year earlier in a cigarette market estimated at about $1.1 billion. The gap between the price of cigarettes and beedis, cheap tobacco wrapped in a coarse leaf, has widened after the government raised excise duties and slapped a 15 percent value-added tax last year. The lowest-priced offering sold by Ceylon Tobacco -- the only licensed manufacturer of cigarettes -- is about four times more expensive than leaf-rolled products, which are produced by a segment of the industry that’s relatively less regulated and has seen smaller increases in levies. “In 2017, we foresee the beedi industry capturing at least half the tobacco market, posing a serious threat to the legal cigarette industry,” said Ridley. “As the affordability of legally manufactured cigarettes continues to diminish, more consumers are expected to downgrade to this cheaper alternative.” Beedis accounted for about 44 percent of the total tobacco market last year, up from 20 percent in 2007, Ridley said. The share of smuggled cigarettes is expected to rise to about 8 percent this year from 2 percent in 2016, according to the company. The numbers for the market share shift being claimed for beedis are exaggerated, said Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne. The government is in discussions with farmers cultivating tobacco to wean them away from the crop, he said.
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Oct 3, 2017 - Evansville Courier & Press Gary Thurby, left, and Heath Thurby are third- and fourth-generation tobacco farmers at Thurby Farms in Henderson County, Ky., Friday afternoon. They are hoping the tobacco crop this year makes up for the meager harvest of the past two years. DENNY SIMMONS / COURIER & PRESS ( continue reading ) Click one of the buttons below or search. Here you can find useful examples and description about searching the news archive. Read it carefully to get the best results. If you need more help, please contact us. Searching is case insensitive. Words music and mUSIC return the same results. Some of the common words like the, is, etc.
The decreasing revenue trend continues with further contraction of the legal cigarette market. According to Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), excise duty should constitute at least 70% of the final retail price. The government had been quick to implement excise tax that constitutes roughly half of retail price today. However, the same speed did not apply to FCTC’s guidance on tobacco control programmes. The revenue collected from cigarette sales was used to finance local smoking cessation programmes like mQuit . From the year 2016 to 2019, the Health Ministry targets to help 390,000 smokers quit the habit. The targeted quantity of smokers is only equivalent to 7.8% of the current smoking population, and resources allocated are evidently insufficient. Malaysia’s current minimum legal age for smoking is 18 . Countries like Singapore and Sri Lanka have made progress to raise the age requirement to 21 while Malaysia is still debating on its 2018 tobacco bill . Although the government has designated non-smoking zones , there seemed to be negligible enforcement and issuance of fines.