About one in five cigarettes smoked in Uganda is counterfeit, according to British American Tobacco Plc’s local unit.
The trade in illicit cigarettes has soared since about a decade ago, when only one in 10 cigarettes were counterfeit, Managing Director Mathu Kiunjuri said in the capital, Kampala. That has “robbed” the government of at least 30 billion shillings ($8.2 million) of revenue annually.
Some of the cigarettes are marked made in South Sudan, Kenya or Uganda, while many do not show origins, he said.
BAT Uganda expects a fifth consecutive year of profit growth in 2020 after it exited leaf growing in 2014, he said. Net income climbed 14% to 15.7 billion shillings in 2019, driven by a “revamped portfolio and distribution efficiencies,” he said. The company announced a 320-shilling dividend per share.
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