Encouraged by a $32 million profit in 2000, British American Tobacco's Venezuelan affiliate, Bigott, has decided to invest $35 million this year in the business. Advertising and marketing will account for 60% of that investment, with 25% going to operations and 15% to a technology acquisition, according to CEO Christina Beyer.
In spite of last year's profits, Bigott saw sales drop by an overall 3% for its Belmont, Consul, Lucky Strike and Kent brands. Contraband was the main culprit for the decline, with smuggled brands accounting for 22% of the market.
Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.