1902 UK’s Imperial Tobacco Company and the American Tobacco Company of the United States form a joint venture, the British American Tobacco Company. James ‘Buck’ Duke becomes the company’s first chairman.
1904-1911 We develop markets in the West Indies, India, Ceylon, Egypt, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Indonesia, East Africa and Malaya.
1905 Acquires majority shares in Maspero Freres Company.
1910 Sales are more than 10 billion cigarettes.
1914 First World War begins.
1915 Sales total 25 billion.
1921 Cigarrera Bigott Sucs is formed in Venezuela and, in the following few years, acquisitions are made in Chile, Mexico and Central America.
1927 Our 25th anniversary. We become one of the UK’s leading companies, with 120 subsidiaries.
1932 We have factories in most countries and develop independent distribution networks, which become fully-fledged subsidiaries. Leaf-growing and manufacturing operations are established in India, China, Brazil and Nigeria and Haus Bergmann is acquired in Germany.
1939 Second World War begins.
1942 Profits that were static at £5.5 million right through the depression go down to £3 million until the war ended.
1953-1955 We rank third among British, French and German companies, measured by company profits.
1960 Global sales exceed 280 billion with trading profits of more than £58 million.
1961-1965 We begin to diversify with moves into the paper, cosmetics and food industries.
1966 We acquire cigar manufacturer Henri Wintermans and company profits exceed £100m for the first time.
1970-1973 We move into retailing with acquisitions including Argos in the UK and Saks Fifth Avenue in the USA.
1976 Peter Macadam becomes Chairman and BAT Industries is formed. Within two years it is the UK’s third biggest company. Annual sales increase to 500 billion cigarettes.
1981 Trading profits from the tobacco operations triple over the previous decade to more than £463 million.
1984-1989 BAT Industries acquires Eagle Star, Allied Dunbar and Farmers Group to become the largest UK-based insurance group.
1992 Hungary’s Pecsi Dohanygyar are acquired. Acquisitions and joint ventures follow rapidly in Ukraine, Uzbekistan, the Czech Republic, Russia, Romania and Poland.
1994 The prestigious Lucky Strike and Pall Mall brands are now added to our portfolio.
1998 BAT Industries divests its financial services businesses. British American Tobacco becomes a separately quoted company on the London Stock Exchange, with Martin Broughton as its chairman.
1999 Following a global merger with Rothmans International we gain several major brands, including Dunhill.
2001 New investments in countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Vietnam and South Korea
2004 Brown & Williamson and RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company combine and Reynolds American is formed – a stronger, more sustainable business in which we have a 42% share.
2008 We acquire the assets of Tekel, the Turkish state tobacco company.
2011 Major acquisition of Protabaco in Colombia for US$452 million. Our annual results for 2011 reveal another successful year with strong brand performance, an increase in organic revenue of 7% and adjusted profit from operations growing by 11%.