Big tobacco’s hopes for vaping go up in smoke
Revenue from next-generation products will be 10% less than the £1bn BAT anticipated
British American Tobacco (BAT) has taken a match to its forecasts for sales of its alternatives to traditional cigarettes — and sent a warning about how fast consumers are shifting to vapes and other smoking alternatives. Revenue from so-called next-generation products will be 10% less than the £1bn BAT had previously anticipated, the maker of Dunhill and Lucky Strike said on Tuesday.
The primary cause for the shortfall was the Japanese market, where demand for tobacco-heating devices has stagnated, even if BAT’s Glo product is gaining market share. While early adopters have switched to new products, other consumers are proving more resistant to change. But the slowdown in a key market shouldn’t have come as a surprise to investors: Philip Morris International warned about the trend in April. The big tobacco companies are investing heavily in e-cigarettes, hoping they will grow fast enough to offset dwindling sales of their traditional products. The warnings from BAT and Phili...