British American Tobacco (BAT) added more than 1.4 million noncombustible product consumers in the first quarter of 2021, to reach a total of 14.9 million, CEO Jack Bowles announced in a trading update.
“We are investing and building strong, fast growing international brands in each segment, rapidly accelerating our reach and consumer acquisition, thanks to our digitalization and our multi-category consumer-centric approach, supported by the right resources and products, and our agile organization,” said Bowles.
“Our portfolio of noncombustible products is tailored to meet the needs of adult consumers. We are growing New Categories at pace, encouraging more smokers to switch to scientifically substantiated reduced risk alternatives.”
The company’s New Category products are now sold in 74 markets across 53 countries. Its Vuse/Vype vapor devices have been gaining value share in all Top 5 markets. Vuse is even approaching global leadership in vapor, reaching 31.4 percent category value share in the Top 5 vapor markets year-to-date in April, according to Bowles.
BAT’s Glo tobacco-heating product (THP) recorded positive volume share momentum in many markets, including Japan. The device achieved 16.2 percent category volume share in the Top 9 THP markets year-to-date in April.
According to Bowles, BAT has also been consolidating its international volume share leadership in Modern Oral, with strong Velo volume share growth in the U.S. The company’s category share of Modern Oral in the Top 5 markets reached 40.2 percent year to date in April
BAT’s combustibles segment was characterized by strong pricing and robust volume, the company said. Group value and volume share were both up 10 base points year to date, with full year industry volume expected to be down about 3 percent.
For 2021, BAT now anticipates constant currency revenue growth of above 5 percent, ahead of its 3-5 percent guidance.