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KT&G’s cigarette business held steady at home, advanced strongly abroad

| March 27, 2013

KT&G’s overseas sales last year reached $634 million during 2012, up from $37,000 during 2000, when it was just starting out on the export trail, according to a story in The Korea Times.

The company’s Esse brand was said to have dominated the super-slim market with sales of more than 50 billion cigarettes worldwide last year.

On the domestic scene, KT&G was said to have remained the top player during 2012, accounting for 62 percent of the cigarette market, though there was no mention of what its share was in 2011 or previously.

The government opened the Korean market in 1988 and, now, KT&G competes directly with Phillip Morris International, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International.

“We’re so proud that we’ve done so well and never lost ground to the global competitors,” KT&G said in a press release and quoted in the Times piece.

The company said that it was rare for a former monopoly-tobacco manufacturer to remain dominant after a country’s cigarette market was exposed to free and open competition.

It said that it had managed this feat by maintaining the quality of its products, including its flagship brands: This, Time, Esse, Season and Raison.

Category: Breaking News

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