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The weakening of the Kenya shilling helped British American Tobacco (BAT) to grow its net profit 17 per cent to Sh4.9 billion in the year ended December, up from Sh4.2 billion the year before.


The performance saw the company declare a final dividend of Sh46 per share, bringing the total payout to Sh49.5 per share.


This was a rise from the Sh42.5 per share paid on the 2014 results, with BAT maintaining its dividend policy of paying out its entire net earnings.


BAT, which earns about 45 per cent of its revenue from exports, profited from the weakening of the shilling from 91 units to the dollar in January 2015 to 102 units at the end of that year.


This represented a depreciation of 10.7 per cent in the period. The slide means exporters like BAT book more revenues in shillings from the same volumes of goods sold.


“Net revenue increased by six per cent to Sh22.3 billion driven by the benefit of foreign exchange movements arising from export sales,” BAT said in a statement.


The company exports cigarettes and semi-processed (cut rag) tobacco to countries like Egypt.


The weak shilling was, however, not all positive for BAT which saw its finance costs on foreign currency nearly double to Sh534 million.

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