Sri Lanka tobacco users generate more taxes, sales lower

July 29, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Tobacco Company, which is the monopoly legal producer of cigarettes in the country, said profits grew in the June 2009 quarter, even as volumes fell and the government earned more revenue from taxes. The company, a British American Tobacco unit, said in a stock exchange filing that gross revenue rose 5.2 percent to 14.6 billion rupees during the period and profits grew 44 percent to 769 million rupees.

Net profit in the first six months was up 41 percent to 1,262 million rupees compared with the same period a year ago.

The government had earned 24.0 billion rupees as taxes from tobacco users in the first six months of the year, up 1.6 billion the company said, as the state also achieved the objective of curbing sales of the product, which is harmful to users.

“Company volumes further declined in the first half as a direct result of higher excise-led price increases and lower consumer affordability,” a company statement said.

“The Board is cautiously optimistic in achieving a satisfactory return to shareholders for the year ending 31st December 2009.”

The company’s sales have been slowed by a successful campaign against tobacco use as well as price increases owing to higher tax

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