British American Tobacco (BAT), the UK’s largest listed tobacco and vaping company, has launched what it called “a multi-pronged media campaign” urging for new regulations on vaping.
The FTSE 100 company said it was taking “the unprecedented step” of going public – in a campaign in newspapers, websites, and billboards – with proposals that seek to limit vaping’s appeal and access to the underage and reduce the environmental impact of single-use vapes.
The move comes ahead of the ending of the consultation on the Tobacco and Vapes Bill on 6 December.
In response to the consultation, BAT, which makes the Vuse brand of rechargeable vapes, is calling for dessert and soft drink flavours to be banned, along with marketing slogans and imagery involving toys, cartoons, and sweets.
“Vaping is the key to unlocking the UK’s smokefree target,” said Asli Ertonguc, BAT lead for the UK. “As the largest manufacturer of vaping products in the UK, we are clear on our responsibilities and are urging the government to introduce more stringent vaping regulations.
“We believe that underage users should never vape, so we want confectionery, dessert and soft drink flavours to be banned and the introduction of a new regime for how and where vapes are sold.”
Indonesian palm oil producer MP Evans has completed the acquisition of two local companies, PT Agro Bumi Kaltim and PT Nusantara Agro Sentosa, initially announced in September.
ABK and NAS both own oil-palm plantations in East Kalimantan, and between them manage a total planted area of 8,350 hectares, of which 6,664 hectares are under direct ownership and 1,686 hectares are managed on behalf of associated smallholder co-operatives.
The London-listed group is paying total cash of $41.6m, with $36.1m for the entire share capital of the two businesses and $5.5m in settlement of shareholder loans. In addition, MP Evans is taking on bank loans denominated in Indonesian rupiah in the companies totalling a further $22.1m.
Chairman Peter Hadsley-Chaplin said the completion of the acquisitions were “an important step forward” in the group’s continuing growth and development.
“Realising our strategic objective to increase the scale of operations close to our Kota Bangun project will enable the group to enhance operational efficiencies there,” he added.
“The group now has over 65,000 hectares under management, and we expect to continue to increase output and achieve future growth, supporting the group’s ambition to deliver progressive returns.”
The FTSE 100 is down 0.2% to 7,471.41pts this morning.
Early fmcg risers this morning include Naked Wines, up 1.7% to 35.6p, PayPoint, up 1.6% to 518p, B&M European Value Retail, up 1.3% to 552p, and Greencore, up 1% to 102.4p.
Fallers included Science in Sport, down 2% to 12p, Pets at Home, down 2% to 280.2p, and Fever-Tree Drinks, down 1.1% to 1,067.1p.
This week in the City
A busy day tomorrow sees food-to-go specialist Greencore and drinks ingredients firm Treatt both release full-year results, while Pets at Home and vaping group Supreme are scheduled to publish interims.
Spam maker Hormel Foods puts out quarterly numbers in the US on Wednesday.
Spirits group Remy Cointreau reports quarterly results on Thursday, with US grocer (and Ocado partner) Kroger reporting in the US.