Jamie Carr Columnist

The ethical investor won’t touch it with a bargepole, but for those less bound by conscience and more by an eye to the bottom line, British American Tobacco (BAT) is unquestionably a good not-so-little earner. This is a company on a grand scale, with operating profits a whisker shy of £10bn on revenues of £25.8bn, and as its CEO points out, it is the largest and only truly global company in its industry, with a range of powerful brands that entrench its position around the world.

But it is also a company on a major mission to be seen to transform itself, as is shown by the upfront focus on its noncombustible business, leaving as something of an afterthought the fact that it still churned out 638-billion cigarettes in the year, generating nearly nine times as much revenue as all the noncombustibles put together...

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