British American Tobacco said on June 27 it is betting big on robust exports from its South Korean production facility, bucking its slump in the domestic market.
“BAT Korea will explore new export markets in Japan and Southeast Asia, in particular, for sustainable growth,” a company official was quoted as saying at its Sacheon plant, 440 kilometers south of Seoul.
In the past three years, BAT Korea has suffered a decline in domestic sales amid growing competition.
BAT Korea’s domestic sales fell to 268.2 billion won ($230 million) in 2018 from 413.4 billion won in 2016. In contrast, its outbound shipments jumped to $300 million from $100 million during the same period, the company said.
The Sacheon factory began operations in October 2002 and has served as a core export base of BAT. The plant had produced an accumulated 300 billion cigarettes as of the end of June, according to BAT Korea.
BAT has invested a total of 430 billion won in the plant to enhance productivity and expand lines.
The company sells its mainstay Dunhill and Rothmans products, and the tobacco heating system device glo with neo sticks in Korea.
It exports dozens of tobacco products to countries that include Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)