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NDC’s Quality Management System recertified for ISO 9001:2008

| October 28, 2015

NDC Technologies, a leading global provider of precision measurement and control solutions, has announced that its Quality Management System (QMS) has been recertified for ISO 9001:2008 by DNV-GL Business Assurance for the design, manufacture and service of continuous process measurement and control equipment. This recertification applies to all of NDC’s manufacturing facilities, including its headquarters in Irwindale, California, USA, and its facilities in Maldon, U.K., and Dayton, Ohio, USA.

“DNV-GL is a world-class ISO 9001 certification body,” says Andy Hall, quality and compliance director at NDC. “With their help, our organization has now achieved a higher standard of QMS certification. As our business and customer base continues to grow, this certification not only differentiates us from other measurement solution providers but demonstrates our on-going commitment to continuous quality improvement and maintaining the highest levels of customer satisfaction.”

ISO 9001:2008 certification is based on quality management principles including strong customer focus, leadership and motivation of upper management, the process approach, and continual improvement and review. Certification to this standard requires an accredited third-party auditing organization to thoroughly review the company’s internal quality management system processes, to ensure it is capable of consistently delivering products and services that meet customers’ needs and expectations.

The ISO QMS standard has been the basis for NDC’s internal processes for a number of years. NDC Technologies was formed in 2014 as a merger between NDC Infrared Engineering and Beta LaserMike (both part of the Spectris plc family of companies and recognized global leaders in non-contact measurement and control solutions). Prior to the merger, both companies were ISO certified and managed their internal processes in accordance with strict ISO and in-house quality management standards.

Newport boost to RAI’s third quarter

| October 28, 2015

Reynolds American Inc (RAI) yesterday reported that R.J. Reynolds’ domestic cigarette volume shipments during the three months to the end of September, at 21.1 billion, were increased by 30.2 percent on those of the three months to the end of September 2014, 16.2 billion. The increase occurred because of RAI’s acquisition on June 12 of Lorillard and its Newport brand, and despite RAI’s having to offload its Winston, KOOL and Salem brands to Imperial Tobacco as a condition of the acquisition.

Reynolds’ growth brands volume, at 19.4 billion, was up by 74.3 percent. Newport added 8.8 billion units to the pot, but Camel volume was down by 3.2 percent to 5.5 billion and Pall Mall volume was down by 6.9 percent to 5.1 billion.

Other cigarette brand volume was down by 67.0 percent to 1.7 billion.

Premium brands volume was up by 56.4 percent to 14.8 billion while value brands volume was down by 6.5 percent to 6.3 billion, giving a premium-to-total volume mix of 70.1 percent, up from 58.3 percent.

Reynolds’ domestic market share during the three months to the end of September, at 32.0 percent, was down by 0.1 of a percentage point on that of the three months to the end of September 2014.

The share held by Newport increased by 0.5 of a percentage point to 13.3 percent; that of Camel was unchanged at 8.3 percent, while that of Pall Mall fell by 0.3 of a percentage point to 7.8 percent, giving Reynolds a growth-brand share of 29.4 percent.

The share held by other brands fell by 0.3 of a percentage point to 2.5 percent.

At Santa Fe, cigarette sales – all of Natural American Spirit – during the three months to the end of September, at 1.3 billion, were up by 19.3 percent on those of the three months to the end of September 2014.

Santa Fe’s share of the domestic market increased by 0.3 of a percentage point to 1.9 percent.

Meanwhile, American Snuff’s moist snuff volume shipments during the three months to the end of September, at 125.3 million cans, were up by 4.4 percent on those of the three months to the end of September 2014.

Grizzly volume was up by 4.6 percent to 113.7 million cans, while the volume of other brands taken together was up by 2.4 percent to 11.6 million cans.

American’s share of the domestic market during the three months to the end of September, at 33.7 percent, was up by 1.3 percentage points on that of the three months to the end of September 2014.

Grizzly’s share rose by 1.4 percentage points to capture 30.9 percent, while the share of other brands fell by 0.1 of a percentage point to 2.8 percent.

RAI’s net sales for the three months to the end of September, at $3,161 million, were up by 41.1 percent on those of the three months to the end of September 2014.

Reported operating income was up by 48.5 percent to $1,206 million, while adjusted operating income was up by 64.9 percent to $1,405 million.

Reported net income was up by 40.7 percent to $657 million, while adjusted net income was up by 54.7 percent to $781 million.

And reported net income per diluted share was up by 4.5 percent to $0.46, while adjusted net income per diluted share was up by 17.0 percent to $0.55.

“Our operating companies delivered excellent key-brand performance in the third quarter, and that helped drive further gains in Reynolds American’s net sales, earnings and margin,” said Susan M. Cameron, president and chief executive officer of RAI.

“In addition to these strong results, I’m pleased to report that the integration of Newport is going smoothly. Even with the route to market restrictions on retail merchandising in place through mid-November, Newport is demonstrating solid marketplace momentum, and R.J. Reynolds’ consumer marketing and sales teams are focused on identifying additional growth opportunities for the brand.”

In announcing the results, RAI said that R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company’s VUSE Digital Vapor Cigarette had performed well in the third quarter and ‘remains the best-selling e-cigarette in the convenience/gas channel’.

It mentioned, too, that it had concluded a definitive agreement to sell the Natural American Spirit business outside the US to the JT Group for $5 billion; that a vapor technology-sharing and licensing term sheet had been signed between RAI and British American Tobacco; and that it had consolidated its VUSE manufacturing at R.J. Reynolds’ Tobaccoville facility.


Electronic cigarette deeming regulations ‘onerous’

| October 27, 2015

The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA), a coalition of private sector companies engaged in electronic cigarette technologies, is publishing on its website ( a preliminary version of the US Food and Drug Administration’s yet-to-be released final ‘deeming regulations’ on currently unregulated tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes, according to an association press note carried by the TMA.

TVECA described the regulations as onerous and said they would greatly restrict the public’s access to the products of its members.

The association plans to hold a series of conference calls with e-liquid manufacturers and e-vapor advocacy groups to ‘solidify’ the industry and its message.

More details are available at:; or by calling +1 (224) 501-3412 and using the access code 462-766-469 and the meeting ID 462-766-469.

Universal to webcast Q2 results conference call

| October 27, 2015

Universal Corporation is due to webcast at a conference call starting at 17.00 Eastern Time on November 5 following the release of its results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2016 after market close on that date.

The conference call, which will be available on a listen-only basis, will be hosted by Candace C. Formacek, vice president and treasurer.

A replay of the webcast will be available at until February 2, while a taped replay will be available from 20.30 on November 5 through November 19 at (855) 859-2056, using the telephone replay identification number 68333154.

TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2015 hailed as success

| October 26, 2015

The TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2015, which was held from Oct. 18-23 in Cannes, France, concluded with high levels of exhibitor and visitor satisfaction, despite a 2 percent drop in visitors, according to the Tax Free World Association (TFWA).

“The slight reduction in the total number of visitors compared with last year’s record figure bears witness to the difficult economic and geopolitical climate in the world today,” said TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortenson. “However, I am delighted to report that our key visitor category – landlords, duty free & travel retail operators – was extremely well represented with a 2 percent increase in delegates and 4 percent rise in the number of companies over 2014. Agents and distributors also arrived in greater numbers than last year, which is very pleasing.”

A total of 6,558 visitors from 3,026 companies attended this year’s conference, compared with 6,701 visitors from 3,105 companies last year. Of the total, 2,183 people were key buyers—duty free and travel retail operators and landlords of airports, airlines, ferry, cruise, border and downtown concerns. Adding the 2,401 agents and distributors (1,145 companies) to this figure produces a total of 4,584 (1,788 companies) of the most influential trade executives in the industry who were present at this year’s event, according to the TFWA.

On the 21,500-square-meter trade floor were 482 exhibitors (up from 475 exhibitors in 2014), who showcased thousands of products, including fragrances and cosmetics, wines and spirits, fashion and accessories, jewelry and watches, confectionery and fine food, gifts and electronics, and tobacco categories.

The TFWA conference attracted 1,504 delegates, who received thought-provoking analysis of the current business environment from the three speakers: Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor; Peter Long, CEO of TUI Group; and Juul-Mortensen. Stephen Sackur, of BBC HARDtalk, served as moderator.

The six-day conference also included the first-ever TFWA Research Workshop as well as a charity run, golf tournament, welcoming cocktail party at the Carlton Hotel, a Cucina Pop dinner prepared by award-winning chef Davide Oldani and an acrobatic display by the Cirque Eloize from Montreal.

At the closing press conference, Juul-Mortensen, on behalf of TFWA Care, presented to M. Christophe Visentin, founding director, and M. Bernard Brochand, deputy and honorary president of SAMU SOCIAL, funds which will be used to purchase a service vehicle. The van will replace one originally purchased by TFWA 10 years ago which was destroyed in the recent flooding.

Juul-Mortensen concluded, “TFWA is pleased to report that the 31st TFWA World Exhibition & Conference has been completed successfully. Initial feedback from visitors and exhibitors has been very positive, and we will endeavor to rectify any issues which have come to light in time for next year. We look forward to meeting colleagues at our next industry event, the MEADFA Conference in Jordan, on 23 and 24 November.”

Fewer tobacco growers register in Zimbabwe

| October 26, 2015

Tobacco production in Zimbabwe is likely to be scaled back during the 2015-16 season, according to a story in The Zimbabwe Daily citing Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) data.

TIMB figures indicate that 56,000 growers have registered to produce tobacco during 2015-16, down from 72,000 by the same time last year.

Tobacco Research Board (TRB) figures, meanwhile, indicate that seed sales too are down, to 685,000 g, though there was no indication as to how much seed had been sold by this time last year.

TRB general manager Dr. Dahlia Garwe said the irrigated tobacco had already been planted and the dry land crop was “being established”.

Garwe said that farmers were concerned about the rainfall patterns and the predicted El Nino effect. They were being cautious in the way they were approaching the season.

She said that while 685,000 g translated to about 314,000 ha, not all the seeds bought were grown. It was likely that perhaps 65 to 80 percent of that amount would be planted.

“Certainly, from what we have, activity in the 2015 to 2016 season is lower,” she added.

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