BAT profit soars

Though volumes declined by 6 percent and exports by 21 percent, British American Tobacco (BAT) Zimbabwe Holdings still saw its turnover increase from $10.1 billion in 2002 to $65.4 billion last year with net profit soaring from $1.9 billion to $15.5 billion.

It says domestic sales picked up in the second half but overall sales were still down 6 percent largely because of the aggressive pricing policy and a malperforming economy. Increased competition was responsible for the decline in exports.

The company said that though the new monetary policy introduced in December had gone a long way in restoring sanity into the economy, inflation remained the biggest single challenge for authorities.

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