DEMTOCO announces after-tax-profit of $2.27B amid rise in cigarette smuggling

Demtoco Managing Director Vijay Singh

At the 90th Annual General Meeting held today at the Marriott Hotel, Demerara Tobacco Company Limited (DEMTOCO), a leader in the tobacco industry, shared its 2023 results and strategic achievements under the leadership of Managing Director, Mr. Vijay Singh.

The company reported a 9.7% increase in Profit After Tax, climbing from G$2.07 billion in 2022 to G$2.27 billion in 2023. This growth has been supported by a 4.4% increase in revenue driven by enhanced operating efficiencies. These results were achieved amidst a challenging global environment characterized by logistical disruptions, inflationary pressures, and international political tensions, which DEMTOCO successfully navigated in order to deliver significant value to its shareholders.

Mr. Singh highlighted the company’s strategic focus on strengthening its portfolio of international brands. “Our premium brand Dunhill has once again shown outstanding performance, with a growth of 9.5% for the third consecutive year. This is a testament to our commitment to innovation and providing a premium experience to our consumers,” said Mr. Singh. Additionally, the migration of the Bristol brand to the globally recognized Lucky Strike has positioned DEMTOCO to leverage brand strength and drive future growth.

At the meeting he also addressed the challenges posed by the illicit trade of tobacco products, which has significantly impacted the industry. The market share of illicit cigarettes in Guyana has risen alarmingly to an estimated 29%, representing a 100% increase in just one year. Mr. Singh emphasized the urgent need for intervention, stating, “If this trend continues, we could see an estimated loss of G$1 billion in government revenue by the end of 2024.”

DEMTOCO has been proactive in advocating for stronger enforcement to combat the issue of illicit trade, which undermines legitimate businesses and poses risks to the economy. The company appreciates the efforts of the law enforcement agencies such as the Guyana Revenue Authority and the Guyana National Bureau of Standards in seizing illegal products and calls for increased collaboration to tackle this pressing issue.

Despite these challenges, DEMTOCO’s resilience and strategic initiatives have ensured sustained growth and shareholder value. Mr. Singh extended his gratitude to all stakeholders, including the dedicated DEMTOCO team and the leadership provided by the Board of Directors, which have been instrumental in achieving the company’s goals.

“As we continue to navigate through these challenging times, our focus remains on innovation, strategic growth, and combating illicit trade to ensure the prosperity of DEMTOCO and contribute positively to Guyana’s economy,” concluded Mr. Singh. [Press Release]