British American Tobacco plc is a holding company that owns, directly or indirectly, investments in the numerous companies constituting the British American Tobacco Group of companies. The group:

1. is the world’s second largest quoted tobacco group by global market share, with brands sold in more than 180 markets

2. has a solid portfolio of addictive products with more than 250 brands, including Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall

3. has a high level of exposure to the developing world, selling in more than 180 markets, with leadership in more than 50 markets

4. was able to increase prices even in a downturn. Tobacco, as smokers will confirm, is not a discretionary item.

British American Tobacco product range is for millions of people a 'need to have' rather than a 'nice to have' product. BAT’s customers keep coming back for more to feed their addiction. Sometimes they trade down to buy cheaper brands, which are often produced by the same company.

The company has a great track record in dividend increases, as per our write-up.