Cigarette giant British American Tobacco (BAT) said this morning it has seen around 3.6m new customers start using its vaping, heated tobacco and oral products in the first nine months of this year, more than in all of 2020.
The business said that its non-combustible products, which include those three types, had 17.1m customers at the end of September.
BAT is still making a loss from these new categories, but for the first time this year that loss is set to narrow, it told shareholders.
Revenue has risen five per cent in part due to the new categories, but also growth in cigarette sales.
Chief exec Jack Bowles called 2021 a “pivotal year” and commented: “Benefitting from a continued strong New Category performance, which is now a sizeable contributor to group revenue growth, we are making excellent progress towards our £5bn revenue target by 2025, supported by a clear focus on THP (tobacco heating products)”
“Sustainability is at the core of our transformation with ESG deeply embedded throughout the business. Alongside the acceleration in New Categories, we continue to advance our ESG agenda with stretching metrics, signing up to the UN-backed Race to Zero global campaign. The next phase in our journey to create a sustainable Enterprise of the Future is being accelerated by our transformation programme Quest, leveraging our agile organisation and building on the success of our business simplification programme Quantum”, he added.