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Archive for July, 2013

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Smokers not risk takers by nature

| July 29, 2013

Researchers in Israel have shown that smoking results from an inability to delay satisfaction and consider long-term effects, rather than from a heightened capacity for risk taking, according to a story by John Ericson in the Medical Daily.

The researchers, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, set out to explain why people continued to smoke given that most were aware of the long-term health risks attending the habit.

Their findings are published in the journal PLoS One.

In an article published in The New York Times, study authors Eyal Ert and Eldad Yechiam said their study rejected the common notion that smokers were inherently drawn to risks.

The Medical Daily piece is at: http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/17859/20130728/smokers-smoking-cigarettes-quit-cessation-risk-taking.htm.

Champix class action certified in Canada

| July 29, 2013

The Ontario Superior Court has certified a class action for Canadians who took the quit-smoking drug Champix between April 2, 2007, and May 31, 2010, and allegedly suffered certain reactions, according to a press note issued by Canadian law firm Bruneau Group Inc. through PRNewswire.

The reactions listed in the press note were thoughts about suicide or dying; attempts to commit suicide; new or worse depression, anxiety or panic attacks; feeling very agitated or restless; acting aggressively, being angry or violent; acting on dangerous impulses; an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania); abnormal thoughts or sensations; seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations); feeling people are against you (paranoia); feeling confused; and other unusual changes in behaviors.

The lawsuit seeks compensation and alleges that, between April 2, 2007, and May 31, 2010, Pfizer Canada Inc. failed to adequately warn of the risk of certain psychiatric adverse events allegedly related to Champix.

Pfizer Canada Inc. denies the allegations and is defending the lawsuit.

Lorillard’s cigarette shipments down

| July 26, 2013

Lorillard’s domestic-market wholesale cigarette shipments during the three months to the end of June, at 10,262 million, were down by 1.9 percent on those of the second quarter of 2012, at 10,461 million.

Shipments of Newport were down by 1.3 percent to 8,693 million, while shipments of Kent and True, Lorillard’s other full-price brands, were down by 13.3 percent to 40 million and by 12.0 percent to 43 million, respectively.

In total, full-price brand shipments were down by 1.4 percent to 8,777 million.

Shipments of price/value brands were down by 4.8 percent to 1,484 million, with shipments of Old Gold down by 8.9 percent to 117 million and those of Maverick down by 4.4 percent to 1,367 million.

Lorillard’s shipments to Puerto Rico and U.S. possessions were increased by 11.3 percent to 186 million; so domestic and overseas shipments, taken together, were down by 1.7 percent to 10,448 million.

Lorillard’s share of the U.S. domestic market during the second quarter, at 14.9 percent, was increased by 0.6 of a percentage point from that of the second quarter of 2012. Newport’s share was up by 0.6 of a percentage point to 12.6 percent.

The menthol cigarette share of the total U.S. market increased by 0.6 of a percentage point to 31.5 percent, and Lorillard’s share of the menthol segment increased by 0.9 of a percentage point to 40.2 percent.

Newport’s share of the menthol segment rose by 0.8 of a percentage point to 37.0 percent.

Meanwhile, Lorillard’s domestic-market wholesale cigarette shipments during the six months to the end of June, at 19,306 million, were down by 2.2 percent on those of the first half of 2012, at 19,748 million.

The company’s shipments of full-price brands were down by 1.6 percent to 16,517 million, with Newport’s shipments down by 1.5 percent to 16,357 million, Kent’s shipments down by 12.9 percent to 77 million and True’s shipments down by 12.4 percent to 82 million.

Shipments of price/value brands were down by 6.0 percent to 2,789 million, with shipments of Old Gold down by 12.4 percent to 218 million and shipments of Maverick down by 5.4 percent to 2,570 million.

Lorillard’s shipments to Puerto Rico and U.S. possessions were increased by 13.4 percent to 365 million, meaning that, overall, the company’s shipments were down by 2.0 percent to 19,671 million.

Net sales for the three months ended June 30, at $1,804 million, were increased by 4.2 per cent on those of the three months ended June 30, 2012.

Reported operating income was up by 11.6 per cent to $540 million while adjusted operating income was up by 8.2 per cent to $529 million.

Reported net income was increased by 10.2 per cent to $313 million and adjusted net income was up by 7.0 per cent to $307 million.

Reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) were up by 15.3 per cent to $0.83 and adjusted diluted EPS were up by 11.0 per cent to $0.81.

Meanwhile, net sales for the six months ended June 30, at $3,381 million, were increased by 3.8 per cent on those of the six months ended June 30, 2012.

Reported operating income was increased by 25.8 per cent to $1,101 million and adjusted operating income was up by 9.0 per cent to $967 million.

Reported net income was increased by 26.2 per cent to $640 million and adjusted net income was up by 8.3 per cent to $558 million.

Reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) were up by 31.0 per cent to $1.69 and adjusted diluted EPS were up by 12.2 per cent to $1.47.

“I am pleased that, in a challenging external environment, Lorillard delivered another high quality earnings quarter marked by stable cigarette volumes, strong market share gains, tight cost control and continued success of the company’s strategic initiatives, like blu eCigs,” said Murray S. Kessler, chairman, CEO and president.

“As a result, Lorillard has grown adjusted EPS 12 per cent during the first half of the year.

“With continued industry leading fundamentals, our plans to launch Newport Non-Menthol Gold, the continued success of blu eCigs and our recently increased share repurchase authorization, we are confident in our ability to continue our strong operational and financial performance throughout 2013 and into 2014.”

PM to build RYO factory in Poland

| July 26, 2013

Philip Morris Polska said yesterday that it planned to invest more than PLN150 million (about US$50 million) in building a new facility for the production of fine-cut tobacco for roll-your-own cigarettes.

The facility, which will include offices, is to be built in the Małopolska region of Poland.

“The investment is expected to create close to 700 new jobs over the next few years, subject to the successful completion of the investment process and market conditions,” said a press note posted on Philip Morris International’s website. “The construction of the new facilities is expected to be completed by mid-2014. The company currently employs nearly 3,000 people and has invested to date over PLN1.5 billion (US$500 million) in Poland.”

“I am really pleased that Krakow was chosen by Philip Morris International for yet another investment, which will further strengthen the position of our business in Poland and our ability to continue to compete efficiently and effectively in the European market,” Olek Grzesiak, managing director Philip Morris Poland and Baltic States, was quoted as saying.

“The decision to start constructing new manufacturing and office facilities in Krakow was made due to the growth of our business in Poland. Over the past 10 years, our Krakow factory’s cigarette production volume has increased from 30 billion to over 50 billion cigarettes per year and is still growing, with about 70 percent of production destined for exports today,” Grzesiak said.

Meanwhile, Marek Kalinowski, director operations said the factory expansion would allow capacity to be increased by up to 30 percent.

JT refines its earthquake relief provisions for three worst-hit prefectures

| July 26, 2013

As part of its initiatives aimed at supporting the reconstruction of areas affected by the great East Japan earthquake in March 2011, Japan Tobacco Inc. is due to launch its JT Reconstruction Support Project, which will provide assistance to the three prefectures most affected by the earthquake: Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.

In a note posted on its website, JT said the project would provide aid to local nonprofit organizations (NPOs) based and operating in the areas to assist in the reconstruction, regeneration and revitalization of the three prefectures.

The first applications for support are due to be accepted starting next month.

As a matter of course, the company engages in social programs focusing on four priority areas: social welfare, arts and culture, environmental protection and disaster relief. And to date it has organized additional assistance for the areas affected by the earthquake under existing programs, such as the JT NPO Support Program, which has come under social welfare.

But the new project, originating from the continuing JT NPO Support Program, will be operated separately. Its goal is to provide a greater level of funding for NPOs working toward recovery and ensuring the stability of their future activities.

Meanwhile, the current JT NPO Support Program will continue throughout 2014 to support the regeneration and revitalization of local communities across the country.

“By working through the Japan Earthquake Local NPO Support Fund, which was established by the nonprofit corporation Japan NPO Center, the project will accept applications and conduct a series of screenings and funding to NPOs for a period of three years,” JT said in its note. “Each year, the screening body, which will consist mainly of outside experts, will assess and approve around 20 case applications in total.”

Cigarette volume down but moist snuff volume up at Reynolds American

| July 25, 2013

R.J Reynolds Tobacco’s domestic cigarette volume during the three months to the end of June, at 17.0 billion, was 6.0 percent down on that of the three months to the end of June 2012.

Pall Mall volume was up by 0.5 percent to 5.6 billion, Camel volume was down by 0.9 percent to 5.5 billion, and other-brand cigarette volume was down by 15.3 percent to 5.9 billion.

Reynolds’ share of the domestic retail cigarette market during the three months to the end of June, at 26.0 percent, was down by 0.3 of a percentage point from that during the three months to the end of June 2012.

Pall Mall’s share was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to 8.9 percent, Camel’s share was up by 0.4 of a percentage point to 8.7 percent, while the share of the company’s other-brand cigarettes was down by 1.2 percentage points to 8.4 percent.

Santa Fe’s cigarette (comprising the Natural American Spirit brand) volume during the three months to the end of June, at 0.9 billion, was up by 14.6 percent on that of the three months to the end of June 2012.

At the same time, Natural American Spirit’s share of the retail market increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 1.4 percent.

American Snuff’s moist snuff volume during the three months to the end of June, at 121.8 million cans, was up by 9.4 percent on that of the three months to the end of June 2012.

Grizzly volume was up by 10.6 percent to 109.6 million cans, while other-brand volume was down by 0.6 percent to 12.2 million cans.

At the same time, American’s share of the moist-snuff retail market rose by 0.7 of a percentage point to 33.1 percent. Grizzly’s share was up by 1.0 percentage point to 30.0 percent, while the share of the company’s other moist snuff brands fell by 0.3 of a percentage point to 3.1 percent.

Reynolds American Inc. yesterday announced its second-quarter and half-year 2013 results.

Net sales for the three months to the end of June, at $2,179 million, were up by 0.1 percent on that of the three months to the end of June 2012.

Reported operating income was up by 8.7 percent to $798 million and adjusted operating income was increased by 7.5 percent to $800 million.

Reported net income was up by 4.1 percent to $461 million, and adjusted net income was up by 2.9 percent to $462 million.

Reported net income per diluted share was up by 7.7 percent to $0.84, and adjusted net income per diluted share was up by 6.3 percent to $0.84.

In announcing the results, RAI’s president and CEO, Daniel M. Delen, said second-quarter growth in RAI’s earnings and margins reflected strong performance across all of the company’s reportable business segments. “Profits increased at RJR Tobacco, American Snuff and Santa Fe, and their powerful key brands delivered solid market-share gains,” he said.

Later, he said that as part of RAI’s efforts to transform the tobacco industry, its companies remained focused on building new platforms for growth to meet the changing preferences of adult tobacco consumers. “At R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company, the expansion of the company’s highly differentiated Vuse e-cigarettes is now underway in Colorado, and we will continue to expedite Vuse’s expansion within this exciting new category,” Delen said.

Meanwhile, Reynolds’ domestic cigarette volume during the six months to the end of June, at 31.9 billion, was 7.3 percent down on that of the six months to the end of June 2012.

Pall Mall volume was down by 0.6 percent to 10.4 billion, Camel volume was down by 3.1 percent to 10.3 billion, and other-brand cigarette volume was down by 15.8 percent to 11.2 billion.

Santa Fe’s cigarette (Natural American Spirit) volume during the six months to the end of June, at 1.7 billion, was up by 14.6 percent on that of the six months to the end of June 2012.

And American’s moist snuff volume during the six month to the end of June, at 227.3 million cans, was up by 5.4 percent on that of the six months to the end of June 2012.

Grizzly volume was up by 6.5 percent to 204.5 million cans, while other-brand volume was down by 3.6 percent to 22.9 million.