The Korean unit of the global tobacco company held a congratulatory ceremony inside its manufacturing facility in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang on 27 June. “I am very grateful to all BAT employees and partners who made these remarkable achievements and milestones possible, showing the leadership of BAT in the transformation of its industry,” BAT Korea CEO, Matthieu Juery, was quoted as saying.
The Sacheon factory opened in 2002 and earned the highest rating in manufacturing competitiveness among 55 BAT factories in 48 countries last month. It produces more than 34.2 billion cigarettes annually, including heat-not-burn products, and has been responsible for more than 300 million USD (EUR 264 million) in exports to 15 countries, the report said. BAT is internationally known for its brands like Dunhill, Rothmans, Lucky Strikes and the heat-not-burn cigarette Glo.
Nevertheless, BAT Korea has seen a steady decline in domestic sales in recent years as competition from domestic products has intensified. According to the report, The Korean subsidiary's domestic sales decreased from KRW 413.4 billion (EUR 314 million) in 2016 to KRW 268.2 billion (EUR 208.8 million) last year.
KT&G, the country's dominant tobacco company, has a 60 per cent domestic market (excluding e-cigarettes) and Phillip Morris International holds 23 per cent. BAT accounts for 14 per cent of the domestic tobacco market, the report said.