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General News Fri, 16 Apr 1999

Tobacco compnay changes name

Takoradi (Western Region) 15th April ?99 ?

Pioneer Tobacco Company Limited (PTC) has a new name; it is now British American Tobacco, Ghana. The change of name followed a resolution approved by the company's shareholders at its 46th Annual General Meeting held at Takoradi on Wednesday.

Dr John Richardson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company, explained that in 1997, British American Tobacco, of which PTC was a subsidiary, developed a new corporate identity aimed at identifying all British American Tobacco Companies globally as part of the same international family. With the adoption of the new identity, he said, the company is expected to assume full international status and the marketing of its cigarette brands would be enhanced.

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In addition, employees of the company would benefit from "international best practices" that would enhance productivity and professionalism. Dr Richardson said the company paid 61.062 billion cedis excise duty and sales tax to the government last year. He said the country was losing substantial revenue through smuggling of cigarettes from neighbouring countries into Ghana. About 15 billion cedis in revenue in was lost in 1998 through cigarettes smuggling. Dr Richardson appealed to the government to review the excise duty, which stands at 155 percent of the ex-factory price, to "realistic levels". That would enable the company to compete fairly with low priced smuggled cigarettes, on which no duties are levied and eventually discourage smuggling.

He announced that the company made a profit of 10.123 billion cedis in 1998 before tax, which was 17.5 percent higher than that of 1997. The board chairman said based on the after tax profit of 8.216 billion cedis, the company paid a total dividend of 3.42 billion cedis to its shareholders, representing an increase of 18.75 percent over 1997.

Source: null
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