The absence of Carnival this year is being blamed in part for the West Indies Tobacco Company losing more than $33 million in revenue during the first three months of this year.
According to Witco’s unaudited results for the period ended 31 March 2021 revenue was $199.7 million.
For the same period last year the revenue was $232.8 million.
Witco recorded profit before tax of $128.8 million, for the three month period ended 31st March 2021, representing a decline of $22 million or 14.6 per cent over the corresponding period last year.
“Profit for the period is $91.4 million reflecting a decline of $13.5 million or 12.9 per cent less than 2020. These results reflect the continued impact of COVID-19 and the absence of Carnival celebrations during this period,” Witco’s chairman Anthony E Phillip stated in his review.
“The challenging business environment coupled with a 20 per cent increase in Excise Tax levied in 2020 and its effect on consumer purchasing power must also be noted. Competition from the growing list of suspected illicit trade and low-price offerings continues to engage the industry,” he stated.
Phillip said as the new reality of COVID-19 continues to affect the company’s landscape, it will continue to leverage its agility and Route to Market processes to ensure that products are available to all customers on time and in full.
“Operationally, cost-saving opportunities continue to be realized by simplifying key business processes while ensuring that our Employees are retained and functioning under exemplary COVID-19 and Environmental, Health and Safety protocols. We continue to ensure that our Brand portfolio remains relevant and dynamic, targeting consumers in all segments of the market while recognizing the changing purchasing patterns of consumers,” Phillip stated.
“Notwithstanding the challenging economic environment, and the restrictions associated with the Pandemic, we are confident in our innovativeness during this period. The Company continues to comply with all Public Health Regulations and fully supports the efforts of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago as they manage and reduce the impact of this Pandemic,” he stated.
Phillip said considering the continuing uncertainty of the full impact of COVID-19 on the business, the Board has taken a decision not to pay an interim dividend for the three months ended 31 March 2021.