CFO Profile: Dudley Saayman | British American Tobacco

Dudley Saayman | Head Of Finance | British American Tobacco

Dudley Saayman - current Head of Finance of British American Tobacco - looks back at an extensive career in the tobacco industry. Saayman started his career in 1995, as a Management Accountant for the Translantic Tobacco Company. In September 1998, while working for Rothmans Internatoinal, he was aked to transfer from South Africa to Europe in order to take on the role of Regional Finance Controller there.

After a merge between British American Tobacco and Rothmans International, Saayman started serving as the Area Finance Manager Southern Europe. After being relocated to the UK, where he filled in a role in Operations Finance and later moved into the Global Operations and IT, he finally became British American Tobacco's Head of Finance in 2007. Saayman says to always encourage people to take risks. "You learn from doing" he says.

For his role as the CFO of British American Tobacco, Saayman was nominated for the CFO Awards 2014

Nationality: South African
CFO since: 2007

Other current positions:

  • Boardmember - Consumer goods council of South Africa


  • 2007 - Present : Head of Finance South Africa - British American Tobacco
  • 2004 - 2007: Finance Manager Global Operations & IT - British American Tobacco (UK)
  • 2001 - 2004: Operations Finance Europe - British American Tobacco (UK)
  • 1999 -2001: Area Finance Manager Southern Europe - Rothmans International
  • 1998 - 1999: Regional Finance Controller Europe - Rothmans International
  • 1995 - 1998: Management Accountant - Transatlantic Tobacco


  • CA (SA)
  • Rand Afrikaans University

British American Tobacco
Employees: 2500 (2013, South Africa) 55000 (2013, worldwide)
Listed: LSE, JSE
Sector: Consumer Staples
Industry: Consumer Products
Sub-Industry: Tobacco

British American Tobacco South Africa is a part of the British American Tobacco Group of companies Opens in new window which operates in more than 180 countries worldwide.

In South Africa, the business in its present form was created following the global merger of Rothmans International, partly owned by the Rembrandt Group, and London-based British American Tobacco p.l.c.

The marriage saw the birth of one of the foremost fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses in the country. With more than 20 brands in our portfolio, we make the cigarette chosen by about nine in ten of the country's six-and-a-half million adult smokers. We contribute over R12-billion in excise and VAT per year to the Government. These figures provide some sense of the scale of our organisation but, like any company, we are much more than a set of statistics.

In 2004 we celebrated 100 years of existence in South Africa. Our success in the country was not achieved by accident. The company became a leading business from its inception in 1904 and we believe that we have retained many of the qualities that initially helped place us at the forefront of our industry.

We believe there is real value embedded not only in how we run our business but in our ability to see the world as it really is; select, retain and develop employees; build relationships of trust with consumers, suppliers, distributors and partners; and manage high quality brands.

Key statistics

  • BAT South Africa is the leading tobacco manufacturer in South Africa with a market share of more than 85% of the legal cigarette industry.
  • We have five trade marketing regions across South Africa, with the head office based in Stellenbosch.
  • We purchase over 90% of the annual South African tobacco crop for both local and export production.
  • Our factory in Heidelberg produces about 27 billion cigarettes annually for domestic and international markets.
  • Our company employs more than 2,500 people throughout South Africa.
  • We market more than 20 brands, including Dunhill, Kent, Peter Stuyvesant and Rothmans.

Financial Results:

Revenue (£ Million)
2013 2012 2011 2010
15822 15999 15399 14883
EBITA (£ Million)
2013 2012 2011 2010
5747 5372 4721 4318