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Archive for October, 2012

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Imperial’s cigarette shipments decrease but fine-cut shipments up

| October 30, 2012

According to preliminary results issued today, Imperial Tobacco’s cigarette volume during the 12 months to the end of September, at 292.5 billion, was down by 3.2 per cent on that of the 12 months to the end of September 2011.

Fine cut volume in stick equivalents was increased by 0.4 per cent to 44.1 billion, but total stick equivalent volume (cigarettes and fine-cut) was down by 2.7 per cent to 336.6 billion.

The company’s tobacco net revenue was up by one per cent to £7,005 million and its tobacco adjusted operating profit was increased by two per cent to £2,989 million.

Imperial’s logistics distribution fees were down by six per cent to £872 million and logistics adjusted operating profit was down by four per cent £176 million.

Group adjusted operating profit was increased by two per cent to £3,161 million, adjusted earnings per share were up by seven per cent to 201.0p and dividend per share was up by 11 per cent to 105.6p.

“We’re generating high quality growth by investing in total tobacco brands that will deliver long-term sustainable sales, said chief executive, Alison Cooper.

“Revenues were strong across the portfolio and I’m particularly pleased with the excellent performances from our key strategic brands Davidoff, Gauloises Blondes, West and JPS, with volumes up seven per cent and revenues growing 13 per cent.

“Our portfolio offers consumers unrivalled choice and provides significant opportunities for further growth.

“Our focus on realising this growth potential, whilst effectively managing cost and cash, will continue to maximise value for our shareholders.”

World Tobacco Growers’ day celebrates tobacco’s benefits, warns of threats

| October 30, 2012

To mark the first-ever World Tobacco Growers’ Day, farmers across the world yesterday took part in events to highlight the disastrous impact World Health Organization proposals would have on their livelihoods if passed by parties to the
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in two weeks’ time.

“We’re celebrating the benefits our farms bring to our communities and asking our leaders to stand with us, to hear our voices, and to give us the opportunity to work together to protect our way of life,” said Antonio Abrunhosa, CEO of the International Tobacco Growers’ Association (ITGA).

According to an ITGA press release issued through PRNewswire, Abrunhosa is leading the events worldwide and plans to carry the growers’ message to the FCTC’s Fifth Conference of the Parties (CoP5) in Seoul, Korea, next month.

Events in dozens of countries across four continents yesterday sought to demonstrate the social and economic contribution farmers make to their communities, to remember the heritage of the sector and to educate the public about the issues impacting farmers’ livelihoods.

The events focus on the threat currently facing the world’s tobacco farmers from the FCTC, which, at CoP5, will vote on recommendations to:
*Artificially limit or reduce the land to cultivate tobacco, and deny farmers the
right to grow tobacco;
* Regulate the seasons of the year in which tobacco farming is allowed;
* Ban tobacco famers from working with their clients to improve crop yields,
health and safety conditions and the crop’s environmental impacts;

* Dismantle the bodies relating tobacco farmers with their governments; and
* Introduce mandatory ‘rehabilitation programs’ that would force growers into
other crops, regardless of the economic viability of those crops.

“We are also asking governments to join us today and step back from the WHO abyss and protect, not penalise, poor tobacco farmers,” Abrunhosa said.

He pointed out that the CoP5 recommendations ran contrary to the original intent of the FCTC’s treaty, which was to provide ‘technical and financial assistance to aid the economic transition of tobacco growers and workers’ if and when a decline in tobacco consumption results in lower demand for the crop.

“These draconian proposals are putting tobacco farmers under unprecedented attack from bureaucrats who are looking to artificially reduce the supply of tobacco without providing growers any viable alternatives to support their families,” said Abrunhosa.

“Contrary to FCTC’s claims, not a single smoker will stop smoking because of these proposals. All they will do is spread misery among farmers and their families in some of the least developed countries in the world. We are asking the FCTC to respect its own principles and accept growers’ knowledge and opinion on issues that impact their livelihoods.”

European parliamentarians seek details of anti-illicit-trade agreements

| October 29, 2012

Members of the European parliament’s budgetary control committee have asked the European Commission to provide parliament with all documents and correspondence related to the co-operation agreements the Commission signed between 2004 and 2010 with Philip Morris International, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and British American Tobacco with the aim of addressing the illicit trade in cigarettes, according to a Malta Today story relayed by the TMA.

The MEPs said the requested information was ‘of special importance to evaluate and analyse the possibility of conflicts of interest of the Commission emerging from those agreements’.

The EU’s anti-fraud agency, OLAF, has entered into legally binding and enforceable agreements with the manufacturers, which, taken together, have agreed to pay €1.65 billion to the EU and participating countries.

‘We demand comprehensive information on the relationship to the tobacco industry, in full disclosure,’ the MEPs said in a letter to the Commission.

Inappropriate apps of concern

| October 29, 2012

Public health officials say tobacco companies are circumventing a worldwide ban on youth-targeted advertising by marketing smart phone apps designed to entice young people to smoke.

According to a Voice of America story, Armando Peruga, program manager for the World Health Organization’s Tobacco-Free Initiative, said there was a popular new type of software that was proliferating in Internet app stores and being downloaded to young peoples’ mobile devices and smart phones.

These mobile apps are said to ‘glorify smoking and encourage children to use tobacco products’.

The story quoted a ‘study conducted by Australian researchers’ that found more than 100 related apps.

The apps were said to have included not just games and social utilities, but more direct pitches promoting specific brands of tobacco products and providing information about where those products could be purchased.

The authors of the study were said to believe the distribution of pro-smoking smart phone apps violated the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which bans all advertising and promotion of tobacco products in the media in countries that are signatories to the convention.

Smoking and drinking in retreat in Australia but weighty problems persist

| October 29, 2012

The percentage of daily smokers inAustralia has declined from 18.9, recorded in a 2007-08 survey, to 16.3, recorded in a similar survey conducted in 2011-12, according to an Agence France Presse story relayed by the TMA.

The results of the 2011-12 Australian Health Survey of 33,500 people were released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

During the same period, the percentage of adults who are obese or overweight has increased to 63.4 from 61.2.

ABS statistician, Paul Jelfs, said the survey found that 70.3 per cent of men and 56.2 per cent of women were losing what he called the “battle of the bulge,” while 25 per cent of children were also classified as overweight.

According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development),Australiaranks fifth among advanced nations in obesity, after theUS,Mexico,New ZealandandChile.

Jelfs said the proportion of Australian adults consuming more than two standard drinks daily had dropped 1.4 percentage points in four years, but was still relatively high at 19.5 per cent.

Imperial’s preliminary results tomorrow

| October 29, 2012

Imperial Tobacco is due to announce its preliminary results tomorrow.
A live webcast and the slides of the presentation to analysts and investors will be available at http://www.imperial-tobacco.com from 08.50 hoursUK time on October 30.

And the presentation transcript will be available on the same site from 10.00 hours.