The company announced that the lack of impact has been supported by a geographically diversified supply chain from a manufacturing and distribution standpoint. Consumers have also continued to purchase cigarettes and demand has remained relatively unchanged. The company has not changed its forecasts for the year ahead and still projects cigarette and tobacco heating product sales to be down by around 4 per cent.
Some supply chains in China are still recovering and, as a result, the company has made the decision to postpone certain launches and has seen some disruption in activation. However, the press release also stated that, despite global uncertainty, overall, the business is performing well and has already achieved close to 60 per cent of the pricing planned for 2020.
“We don't see any change in patterns of consumption of cigarettes because of COVID-19,” stated Jack Bowles, the Chief Executive for British American Tobacco, during a webcast on March 18. “It is a daily purchase, so consumers continue to go to shop, even in Italy and France where tobacco shops are still open.”