British American Tobacco - Preliminary announcement - year ended 31 December 2017

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News Release

Preliminary announcement - year ended 31 December 2017

22 February 2018

Transformational deal marks a record year

Key financials
Revenue £20,292m - £14,751m +37.6% -
Adjusted, organic revenue* £15,712m £15,173m £14,751m +6.5% +2.9%
Profit from operations £6,476m - £4,655m +39.1% -
Adjusted, organic profit from operations* £5,910m £5,683m £5,480m +7.8% +3.7%
Diluted earnings per share 1,830.0p - 249.2p +634% -
Adjusted diluted earnings per share* 284.4p 272.1p 247.5p +14.9% +9.9%
Dividend per share 195.2p - 169.4p +15.2% -
*The non-GAAP measures, before adjusting items, the use of organic measures and constant currencies, are not defined by IFRS and are further discussed on page 21 and 22 of the full announcement.

Full year highlights

  • Successfully completed the acquisition of Reynolds American Inc. (RAI/Reynolds American) on 25 July 2017 for a total consideration of £41.8 billion in a combination of cash and ordinary shares to become the world’s leading international tobacco and Next Generation Products (NGP) business.
  • Continued roll-out and investment in the development of NGPs, with the national roll-out in Japan of our tobacco heating product (THP), glo achieving 3.6% national share as well as launches in five new markets combined with the continued growth of our vapour portfolio.
  • Volume of cigarettes and THPs grew by 3.2%, driven by the acquisition of RAI, and fell on an organic basis by 2.6%, outperforming the market which declined by an estimated 3.5%.
  • The Group’s cigarette market share grew 40 basis points (bps), driven by the Global Drive Brand (GDB) portfolio, with volume up 7.6% on an organic basis with market share up, excluding the US, by 110 bps.
  • Group revenue grew 37.6%, with profit from operations up 39.1%, due to the acquisition of RAI, improved revenue from the NGP portfolio, pricing and a translational foreign exchange tailwind due to the relative weakness of sterling.
  • Adjusted, organic revenue grew 6.5% or 2.9% at constant rates of exchange, driven by pricing and the performance of NGP.
  • Adjusted, organic profit from operations at current rates was up 7.8% or 3.7% at constant rates.
  • Operating margin, at current rates, was ahead of 2016 by 30 bps at 31.9%, by 270 bps on an adjusted basis, or 40 bps on an adjusted organic basis.
  • Diluted earnings per share increased by over 600% largely due to a gain of £23.3 billion related to the acquisition of RAI (see page 12 of the full announcement) and a deferred tax credit of £9.6 billion from the revaluation of the net deferred tax liability arising on the acquisition net assets to the 21% federal tax rate in the US (described on page 11 of the full announcement). On an adjusted basis the increase was 14.9%, or 9.9% on an adjusted, constant rate basis.
  • Dividend per share increased 15.2% to 195.2p, payable in four quarterly dividend payments of 48.8p per share. An additional dividend of 43.6p was also paid in February 2018 – see page 35 of the full announcement.

Key Market offtake share, as independently measured by AC Nielsen, and as share of retail for the US business. All variances in this document are based upon the absolute number.

Richard Burrows, Chairman, commenting on the year ended 31 December 2017

"The transformational deal to acquire RAI marked a record year in 2017. The Group continued to deliver on its commitment to high single figure constant currency earnings growth, substantially reinforced the long-term sustainability of that growth with the largest acquisition of a tobacco company ever completed and achieved significant success in its Next Generation Products business. This is an exciting time for the Group and the Board has confidence in the Group’s ability to continue delivering sustainable growth in the years to come."

Preliminary Announcement - year ended 31 December 2017 (1.3 mb) 

Forward looking statements

This announcement contains certain forward-looking statements, including “forward-looking” statements made within the meaning of Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “could,” “may,” “would,” “should,” “intend,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “project,” “positioned,” “strategy,” “outlook”, “target” and similar expressions. These include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, amongst other things, our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the economic and business circumstances occurring from time to time in the countries and markets in which the Group operates.

All such forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual future financial condition, performance and results to differ materially from the plans, goals, expectations and results expressed in the forward-looking statements and other financial and/or statistical data within this communication. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are uncertainties related to the following: the impact of competition from illicit trade; the impact of adverse domestic or international legislation and regulation; changes in domestic or international tax laws and rates; adverse litigation and dispute outcomes and the effect of such outcomes on the Group’s financial condition; changes or differences in domestic or international economic or political conditions; the inability to obtain price increases and the impact of price increases on consumer affordability thresholds; adverse decisions by domestic or international regulatory bodies; the impact of market size reduction and consumer down-trading; translational and transactional foreign exchange rate exposure; the impact of serious injury, illness or death in the workplace; the ability to maintain credit ratings and to fund the business under the current capital structure; the ability to develop and commercialise new alternative products and to do so profitably; and changes in the market position, businesses, financial condition, results of operations or prospects of the Group.

It is believed that the expectations reflected in this announcement are reasonable but they may be affected by a wide range of variables that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated. Past performance is no guide to future performance and persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser. The forward-looking statements reflect knowledge and information available at the date of preparation of this announcement and the Group undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

No statement in this communication is intended to be a profit forecast and no statement in this communication should be interpreted to mean that earnings per share of BAT for the current or future financial years would necessarily match or exceed the historical published earnings per share of BAT.

Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in BAT’s and Reynolds American Inc.’s (“RAI”) filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including RAI’s most recent Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K and BAT’s registration statement on Form F-4, which was declared effective by the SEC on June 14, 2017, and Current Reports on Form 6-K, which may be obtained free of charge at the SEC’s website,, and BAT’s Annual Reports, which may be obtained free of charge from BAT’s website


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