British American Tobacco (BAT) chief Jack Bowles has said that thousands of jobs will be lost over the next few years as they are to concentrate mainly on vapes.
Bowles also said that the Russian sanctions have made it more difficult to sell to their Russian part of their business.
BAT reported in 2022 a 7.7% rise in revenues to £27.7 billion and revenue from the vapes and tobacco alternatives soared to £2.9 billion.
The tobacco firm are hoping to hit £5 billion in revenue from vapes and tobacco alternatives by 2025.
Bowleds told the PA news agency that thousands of people will lose their jobs at the company within the next few years.
He said, “We have to adapt our structure as we go along, and we have to make sure that we hire a lot of new capabilities and a lot of new people.”
He added, “In the course of the next two years a few thousand people will have to go because we continue to reorganise and optimise.”
Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine BAT said that in March 2022 they would pull out of Belarus and Russia and sanctions imposed has made it “complicated.”
However, on Thursday in a report to shareholders the tobacco company said, even though they are in “advanced discussions” as yet, they have not yet sealed a deal to sell the business.
Bowles said, “There are sanctions in Europe, there are sanctions in the UK, there are sanctions in the US and there are regulations in Russia.
“All this makes it extremely complicated when you have an establishment which includes factories and a sales force.
“If you’re just a retailer you can move it on the back of an envelope and write off the whole thing.
“When you have the brands, the distribution, the manufacturing and the sanctions from different bodies, then you need to make sure you do things properly.
“We want to exit Russia, it takes time. To give you an idea, all the countries that we went out of in the past few years took up to two years, and they were far less complex than this one. Frankly speaking we’re going at speed.”