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Some smokers of Capstan cigarettes, the company’s lowest-priced brand, have cut back on the number of sticks they buy after the price increases and also purchase beedis, said K.K. Badra, 58. She runs a kiosk that sells soft drinks, packaged snacks and other food items apart from tobacco products in Maligawatta, a Colombo suburb. Ceylon Tobacco is looking to contain the impact from higher levies. It has shut some of its leaf depots and reduced factory shifts to curb costs. To sustain profitability it’s working on “smart cost management, streamlining processes, identifying consumer segments and addressing their needs,” said Ridley. The company is also widening its portfolio. It started selling its popular Gold Leaf brand in a smaller packet of 12 sticks apart from the 20-stick packet, introduced a new product Gold Leaf Red and is unveiling John Player Navy Cut, which will be sold for 40 rupees a stick. Still, those efforts may not completely offset the impact from the higher levies. Both revenue and net income will grow at a slower pace this year, according to Chayanika Ranasinghe, an analyst at CT CLSA Securities Ltd., in Colombo. The steep decline in sales volume seen after the November action is expected to “moderate, particularly if there are no further drastic tax increments or regulations,” she said.