| British American Tobacco | Company profile


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British American Tobacco - Company profile

Industry Consumer Goods
Company type Public
Year founded 1902
Revenues in 2006 GBP 25.2 billion
Global headquarters London, England
# Countries active 180
# Employees worldwide 55,364
Most common preferred study background
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
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Required skills

Leadership 7
Team working 7
Problem solving 7
Communication 6
Creativity 6
Commercial Awareness 6
Pressure Resistance 7
Flexibility 7
Networking 7


Who we are

We work with thousands of tobacco farmers worldwide We are the world’s second largest quoted tobacco group by global market share, with brands sold in more than 180 markets. With over 300 brands in our portfolio, we make the cigarette chosen by one in six of the world’s one billion adult smokers.  We hold robust market positions in each of our regions and have leadership in more than 50 markets. In 2006, our subsidiaries enabled governments worldwide to gather over £16 billion a year in taxes, including excise duty on our products, some 8 times the Group’s profit after tax. We have sustained a significant global presence for over 100 years.  Our business was founded in 1902 and by 1912 had become one of the world’s top dozen companies by market capitalisation.

People and factories
Our subsidiary companies produce some 689 billion cigarettes through 52 cigarette factories in 44 countries and have four separate factories in four countries manufacturing cigars, roll-your-own and pipe tobacco. We employ over 55,000 people worldwide. Our workforce is strongly multi-cultural and we have a devolved structure, with each local company having wide freedom of action and responsibility for its operations. Decisions are made as close as possible to the local stakeholders of each business, within a framework of principles, standards, policies, strategies and delegated authorities.

Operating responsibly
We believe that because our products pose risks to health, it is all the more important that our business is managed responsibly.  Responsibility is integral to our strategy and through dialogue with our stakeholders, we are working to pursue our commercial objectives in ways consistent with changing expectations of a modern tobacco business.

Tobacco growing
We are the only international tobacco group with a significant interest in tobacco leaf growing, working with thousands of farmers internationally.  Our companies run leaf programmes in 22 countries providing direct agronomy support to farmers if it is not otherwise available, covering all aspects of crop production and environmental best practice.  Our companies purchased 456,000 tonnes of leaf in 2006, grown by some 250,000 farmers, and over 80 per cent of it by volume came from farmers and suppliers in emerging economies.

Our brands

Much of the growth of our leading brands is driven by innovation. We recognise that our business starts with our consumers and our brands. It’s not about encouraging people to start smoking or to smoke more, but about meeting the preferences of adults who have chosen to consume tobacco, and differentiating our brands from their competitors. We have never believed that ‘one size fits all’. Our portfolio of some 300 brands is based on distinct ‘must-win’ consumer segments - international, premium, lights and adult smokers aged under 30 (ASU30). Our four Global Drive Brands - Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall - are well represented across the segments and since 2001 have together grown volumes by 57 per cent. While developing our Global Drive Brands is central to our strategy, we are also increasing the profile of Vogue in the super premium segment and Viceroy, a leading low price international brand. Much of the growth of our leading brands is driven by innovation – from filters to flavours and packaging to cigarette formats.

More than cigarettes
While more than 95 per cent of the world’s smokers consume ready-made cigarettes you can find cigar, roll-your-own and pipe tobacco brands in our portfolio. We sell smoking tobacco in more than 140 countries, with Europe in the lead and rapid growth in Pall Mall and Lucky Strike. Our cigar portfolio includes the hand-made premium Dunhill Signed Range.

Smokeless too
Some of our Group companies sell Swedish-style snus, a form of smokeless tobacco that is placed under the lip and is reported by several independent health experts as being much less harmful than cigarettes. It’s sold under the Lucky Strike, Peter Stuyvesant and du Maurier brands.

What we offer

Why choose us

We believe that people join us and stay with us because they are excited about the opportunities to make the most of their talents and skills in a fulfilling business environment. British American Tobacco is a truly global organisation. In a business spanning some 180 markets worldwide, our companies employ more than 55,000 people and most of them stay with us for many years.

What are we doing right?
For more than a century, we have built a reputation as one of the world’s leading fast moving consumer goods companies. Our organisational culture is both cohesive and able to benefit from the rich differences across our many markets and among our people. Today, multinationals operate under greater scrutiny and regulation than ever before and the tobacco industry is more controversial than most. As you’d expect from any world-class organisation, we offer high rewards, substantial investments in training and development and truly international careers. While we can’t guarantee you success if you decide to join us, we will challenge you, give you early responsibility, engage you and sometimes put you in tough situations. What we won’t do is bore you or waste your talents.

You in the driving seat
We recognise that the person who knows your aspirations and ambitions best is you. We have processes to help, but in making career decisions, you’re in the driving seat. We invest heavily in training and development, with international management training programmes that provide a real opportunity to learn from the best. We support you in continuously improving and do all we can to build on your functional and leadership capabilities throughout your career with us.

Leading the industry
Our vision is to achieve leadership of our industry. There are issues surrounding our products and we want to take a lead in looking for solutions. We know this isn’t easy but we are committed to working with others to achieve it. Our goals are not only to continue creating long term, sustainable shareholder value, but to be recognised as the world’s most responsible tobacco company.

Our employment beliefs and principles

Our Guiding Principles describe the organisation we are and the organisation we want to be. They represent the common values at the heart of our success. Our Employment Principles build on our commitment to good employment practices and workplace related human rights.

Guiding Principles
Strength from Diversity reflects our cultural mix and a working environment that respects employees’ individual differences. It also reflects our vision of harnessing diversity - of people, cultures, viewpoints, brands, markets and ideas - to create opportunities and strengthen performance. We are interested in what makes you unique.

  • Open Minded reflects our openness to change, opportunities and new ideas, including ways of addressing regulatory issues and changing social expectations. We seek to listen without prejudice, actively and genuinely considering other viewpoints.
  • Freedom through Responsibility describes how we make decisions - as close to the consumer as possible – and affirms our belief that decision-makers should accept responsibility for their own decisions.
  • Enterprising Spirit has been a characteristic of our business for over a century. It is reflected in our ability to grow our business and its value within challenging environments, with the confidence to seek out opportunities for success, to strive for innovation and to accept considered risk-taking as part of doing business.

Employment Principles
Our Employment Principles set out a common approach to our companies' development of policies and procedures, while recognising that each company must take account of local labour law and practice and the local political, economic and cultural context. All our companies have committed to the Employment Principles and are required to demonstrate that they are embedding them in the workplace. Our audit process also monitors that our companies are strongly encouraging key suppliers to meet similar standards. Topics covered by our Employment Principles include:

  • Equality of opportunity and non-discrimination;
  • Internal communications and the free flow of ideas;
  • Worker representation and freedom of association;
  • Fairness at work and the unacceptability of harassment and bullying;
  • That we do not condone or employ child labour;
  • That forced or bonded labour is completely unacceptable;
  • Performance responsibility;
  • Health, safety and environmental responsibility;
  • Community contributions and skills development for employees and communities in markets where our companies operate;
  • Personal development and learning;
  • Reasonable working hours and family friendly policies;
  • Fair, clear and competitive remuneration and benefits.

Who we look for

The type of individual British American Tobacco aims to recruit should have the following strengths:

  • A university degree relevant to their chosen career direction
  • A track record of outstanding academic and extra curricular achievement
  • They are rated as outstanding by their fellow students and academic staff
  • They have an international outlook
  • They are fluent in English. Other languages would be an asset
  • They have the potential to achieve rapid career progression
  • They demonstrate the core competencies which have been identified as adding value to British American Tobacco's activities