By Anthony O. Goriainoff
British American Tobacco PLC said Friday that it was launching a share-buyback program of up to 2 billion pounds ($2.71 billion), and that 2021 pretax profit rose after booking lower costs.
The FTSE 100 cigarette maker–which houses the Kent, Dunhill and Lucky Strike brands–said its buyback program will start on Monday and will end no later than Dec. 31. It added that the number of ordinary shares permitted to be purchased is 229.4 million.
Pretax profit for last year was GBP9.16 billion, compared with GBP8.67 billion in 2020, the company said.
Adjusted profit from operations was GBP10.23 billion, compared with GBP11.37 billion the year before, BAT said.
Revenue for the full year fell to GBP25.68 billion from GBP25.78 billion in the year prior. Revenue consensus for the year was GBP25.63 billion, taken from FactSet and based on 15 analysts’ forecasts.
BAT said it expects constant-currency revenue growth of 3% to 5% this year. It said it expects high-single-digit adjusted earnings-per-share growth in 2022, and that growth will be weighted toward the second half.
The company added that it expects global tobacco industry volume to be down around 2.5% in 2022.
The board declared an interim dividend of 217.8 pence, compared with 215.6 pence a share the year before.
Write to Anthony O. Goriainoff at email@example.com