- British American Tobacco has lost more than R110 billion of its market value since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- The tobacco company has a market share of almost 24% in the Russian market.
- Its operations in Russia continue, but have been suspended in Ukraine.
British American Tobacco (BAT) has lost more than R110 billion – more than 7% - of its market value since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The tobacco group, which has 2 500 employees in Russia, continues to operate in that country, but has suspended all operations in Ukraine.
Major international companies have divested their interests in Russia, or suspended operations as countries across the world impose sanctions on that country, following its invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian economy is expected to be gutted by these interventions, with the rouble losing 45% of its value since the invasion. International companies operating in Russia will also have to contend with the ban on some Russian banks from using the international SWIFT system, effectively blocking cross-border transactions.
BAT has a market share of almost 24% in the Russian tobacco market, and its e-cigarette brand glo is the second-biggest in the country, measured in volume. In 2020, Russia was the second-largest market for these tobacco heating products (THPs) in the world.
The company established a presence in Russia more than 30 years ago, and has since invested more than $1 billion in that market. BAT has a manufacturing facility in St Petersburg which produces cigarettes and sticks for heating. BAT Russia also owns an international tobacco marketing and sales services company. Russia became one of the priority markets for the group, according to the BAT Russia website.
BAT, headquartered in London, is the second-largest tobacco company in the world. BATSA in South Africa forms part of the group. Brands include Dunhill, Kent, Vogue, Rothmans, Pall Mall and Lucky Strike.
BAT Ukraine was established in 1993. Its head office is in Kyiv and its manufacturing facility in Pryluky employs more than 1 000 people.
A BAT spokesperson said on Friday that the group was deeply concerned about the conflict in Ukraine.
"The safety and well-being of our people in Ukraine and across the region is our first priority. We are providing all the assistance we can to our colleagues, including relocation and temporary accommodation," the spokesperson said.
"BAT always complies with relevant regulation and legislation wherever we operate, and we are aligned with all international sanctions. We continue to closely monitor the situation as it evolves," the BAT spokesperson said.