Kenyan cigarette manufacturer British American Tobacco posted a rise in its 2010 pretax profit and revenues, but said a change in the tax regime posed a challenge for the new year.

It said pretax profit rose 29 percent from the previous year to 2.72 billion shillings, while its revenues were up 22 percent to 13.54 billion shillings.

Total domestic and export volumes grew 3 percent, reflecting an improved domestic environment partially offset by a marginal reduction in contract manufacture volumes in some of our export markets, it said.

The domestic volumes increase coupled with overhead cost control measures across the business resulted in revenue and profit growth.

BAT said it contributed 10 billion shillings to government revenue. However, it said a change in the way the government calculated excise duty was a challenge.

In December 2010, the 2010 Finance Bill was amended introducing Retail Selling Price as the primary basis for excise on cigarettes, it said.

We believe this is a retrogressive step and will continue to engage with relevant authorities to ensure that this is addressed.

The company said earnings per share during the period rose to 17.67 shillings from 14.78 shillings in 2009. It said it will pay a final dividend of 17.50 shillings per share.