Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan Tobacco Inc. said Tuesday that its group net profit in 2017 fell 6.9 percent from the previous year to ¥392,409 million due in part to a slump in domestic tobacco sales, reflecting people’s growing health awareness and fierce competition with heat-not-burn cigarettes.
The company’s consolidated sales in the year decreased 0.2 percent to ¥2,139,653 million.
Its tobacco sales in Japan in 2017 went down 12.5 percent to 92.9 billion cigarettes, dropping below the 100-billion mark for the first time since the firm was privatized in 1985. Sales in overseas markets came to 398.5 billion cigarettes, down 0.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the firm’s pharmaceutical business saw surges in both sales and profits thanks to robust demand for its anti-HIV drugs.