Tough economics hit West Indian Tobacco

Tough economic conditions, flowing from an ongoing recession in Trinidad, together with increased Excise and Corporation Tax, the business environment resulted in significant changes in consumption patterns adversely affecting revenue of West Indian Tobacco.
The situation seems to have worsened with illicit cigarettes in the country. According to the Chairman, Anthony Phillip “the Company continues to engage with relevant authorities and stakeholders on the issue of the increased presence of suspected illicit products in the market which has negatively affected our business.”
Against this backdrop, West Indian Tobacco has recorded profit before taxation of $398 million and net profit of $276 million for the nine months to September, down from $373 million in 2016. Revenues fell from $891 million to $787 million but revenues inched just higher in the quarter to $274 million from $272 million in 2016 and revenues net of excise tax was slightly down for the quarter.
Profit after tax for the September quarter fell from $123 million to $97 with tax increasing to $44 million from $43 million in 2016.
The Company continues to proactively respond to the evolving market conditions with ongoing reviews of its Brand Portfolio, Trade Marketing, and Distribution strategies, as well as careful cost management across its operation.
The Board approved the payment of a third interim dividend of $1.14 per ordinary share payable on 24 November 2017, the payment is down compared to $1.44 paid in 2016.
Earnings per share came out at $1.16 for the quarter compared to $1.46 for the similar period in 2016 and for the nine months period $3.27 versus $4.42 in 2016 and should end around $4.75 for the full year giving it a PE ratio of 26 and should result in more decline for the stock. In 2016, earnings amounted to $6.12 per share.
The stock that traded at $127.01 earlier in the year is down to $124.96 on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.

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