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Profit in the Africa and Middle East region grew by £34 million to £468 million, mainly driven by South Africa, Nigeria, the Middle East and Egypt. Volumes were slightly higher at 103 billion, as a result of Nigeria, Egypt and the Middle East, partly offset by decreases in Turkey.
In South Africa, despite the weaker average rand exchange rate, good profit growth was achieved as a result of an improved product mix and higher margins. Peter Stuyvesant’s volumes were in line with last year, while both Rothmans and Dunhill continued their strong growth, with Dunhill recording its highest ever sales. However, reduced volumes for other brands resulted in a lower market share. In Nigeria, volumes and market share grew with strong performances by Benson & Hedges and Pall Mall. Improved margins and volumes resulted in a higher profit.
In the Middle East, volume and profit continued to grow with good results from Iran, Iraq and the Arabian Gulf, partly offset by the Levant. Dunhill was the main driver for the good performances in the Middle East. Profit in Egypt benefited significantly from higher volumes and a reduction in costs.
In Turkey, industry price increases led to higher margins, which, together with lower production costs, ensured a continued reduction in underlying operating losses. However, the move to direct distribution in this market resulted in one-off costs which, together with lower volumes, adversely impacted profitability.
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