Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

British American Tobacco (BAT) expects “another year of good earnings growth” in 2019, despite mooted regulations in the US and competitive threats, chair Richard Burrows says.

In February, BAT said that excluding currency fluctuations and the 2017 acquisition of Reynolds American, adjusted earnings per share in 2018 rose 11.8%.

The group, which makes Lucky Strike, Camel and Dunhill cigarettes, said at the time it expected high-single-digit adjusted constant-currency earnings growth in 2019.

“Against a backdrop of a strong set of results and consequently rising share price, all of this, I believe, puts us is a strong position to deliver long-term sustainable growth,” Burrows said at the tobacco company’s AGM on Thursday.

“The business is in good shape,” he said.

At the same time, BAT was “very conscious that investor sentiment over the last year has been negatively impacted by concerns over possible regulation in the US and competitor dynamics in new categories resulting in a sharp fall in our share price”.

BAT has a new CEO in Jack Bowles, who took over from Nicandro Durante at the beginning of April.

The group’s shares were 2.3% lower at R556.74 on Thursday afternoon.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za