British American Tobacco (BAT) Bangladesh, a multinational cigarette manufacturer, has decided to invest Tk 33 crore in setting up solar panels to generate 3.2MW electricity.
The company’s board of directors already approved the capital investment of Tk 33.21 crore for the installment of rooftop solar panel and a stem pre-sizer unit, along with relevant infrastructures at the Fibex plant of the company, the company said in a disclosure on Thursday.
The investment in the FIBEX technology plant would convert tobacco particles, which had previously gone to waste, into a usable raw material like tobacco leaf, the disclosure read.
This investment capital will be funded from internal sources as well as from bank financing based on its cash flow.
By setting up the solar plant, BATBC will achieve a 50 per cent reduction to carbon dioxide emissions as well as embark on a journey of 50 per cent renewable energy use.
The estimated costs for the overall solar panel system at the Savar site factory (supply, installation, testing, and commissioning) are Tk 24.37 crore, while Tk 8.84 crore will be spent for the stem pre-sizer unit and relevant infrastructural modifications at the Fibex plant.
Earlier on September 20, 2023, the maker of Benson and many other cigarette brands had decided to invest Tk 150 crore in its Savar factory site in a bid to scale up productivity to meet the growing customer demand.
In the early this year, BAT had announced a fresh investment of Tk 574.20 crore in its factory in Savar to create contingency capacity and take advantage of the upcoming export opportunities.
The company also released its September quarter’s financial statement on Thursday.
It reported a net profit of Tk 1,356 crore in the first nine months of 2023, against a net profit of Tk 1,324 crore in the same period last year.
In the same period last year, the multinational cigarette maker posted 14.5 per cent year-on-year growth, according to its unaudited financial statement.
The company said its net revenue after deduction of supplementary duty and value added tax (VAT) rose 10 per cent to Tk 6,792 crore in the nine months.
However, its cost of sales (raw material prices) soared 20 per cent during the period: from Tk 2,792 crore in 2022 to Tk 3,356 crore in 2023.
In the January–September period of 2023, its earnings per share (EPS) stood at Tk 25.11 against Tk 24.52 for January–September 2022.
In the third quarter (July–September) of the current year, the EPS fell to Tk 7.52 for July–September 2023 against Tk 7.59 for July–September 2022.
Regarding the increase in profit, the company said profit increased during the September quarter year-on-year which was driven by volume growth and a decline in net finance and current tax expenses, partially offset by increased sales and operating costs.
BAT Bangladesh manufactures a wide array of tobacco products, namely Benson & Hedges, John Player Gold Leaf, Capstan, Star, Royals, Lucky Strike, Derby, Pilot, Flag, and Hollywood.
It was listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange in 1977.
Headquartered in Dhaka, the company has cigarette factories in Dhaka and Savar. Besides, it operates a green leaf threshing plant in Kushtia and a green leaf re-drying plant in Manikganj.
BATBC shares have been at the floor price of Tk 518.70 each on the DSE trading board since September 7 last year.