Breaking News

Reynolds’ volumes down but Santa Fe is on the up

| February 11, 2015

R.J Reynolds Tobacco’s US domestic cigarette volume during the year to the end of December, at 61.0 billion, was down by 5.0 percent on that of 2013, 64.2 billion.

Camel volume was unchanged at 20.9 billion but Pall Mall volume fell by 3.2 percent to 20.6 billion; so the company’s total ‘growth brands’ volume was down by 1.6 percent to 41.5 billion.

Volume shipments of RJR’s other brands were down by 11.6 percent to 19.5 billion.

Reynolds American Inc, whose business sectors take in RJR, Santa Fe and American Snuff, announced its full-year and fourth-quarter results yesterday.

RJR’s volume during the fourth quarter to the end of December, at 14.9 billion, was down by 4.9 percent on that of the fourth quarter of 2013, 15.6 billion.

Camel volume fell by 0.7 percent to 5.1 billion and Pall Mall volume fell by 4.9 percent to 5.0 billion; so the company’s total growth brands volume was down by 2.8 percent to 10.1 billion.

The other-brands volume fell by 9.1 percent to 4.8 billion.

RJR’s share of the US cigarette market during the year to the end of December, at 26.5 per cent, was down from 26.6 percent during 2013.

Camel’s share was increased by 0.4 of a percentage point to 10.2 percent while Pall Mall’s share was unchanged at 9.4 percent.

The share held by the company’s other brands fell by 0.5 of a percentage point to 7.0 percent.

Meanwhile, Santa Fe’s cigarette (Natural American Spirit) volume during the year to the end of December, at 3.9 billion, was increased by 10.0 percent on that of 2013, while its volume during the three months to the end of December, at 1.1 billion, was 14.0 percent up on that of the three months to the end of December 2013.

Santa Fe’s share of the retail market during 2014, at 1.6 percent, was up by 0.2 of a percentage point on that of 2013.

American Snuff’s volume during the year to the end of December, at 478.6 million cans, was up by 2.8 percent on that of 2013.

Grizzly volume increased by 3.5 percent to 433.8 million cans, while sales of the company’s other moist snuff products fell by 3.5 percent to 44.9 million cans.

American’s volume during the three months to the end of December, at 120.5 million cans, was down by 1.0 percent from that of the three months to the end of 2013.

Grizzly volume was down by 0.5 percent to 109.2 million cans, while the volume of the company’s other brands fell by 5.3 percent to 11.3 million cans.

American’s share of the moist snuff market during the year to the end of December, at 34.3 percent, was increased by 0.3 of a percentage point on that of 2013.

Grizzly’s share was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to 31.4 percent, while the share of other brands was down by 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.0 percent.

RAI had net sales of $8,471 million during the 12 months to the end of December, 2.9 percent up on those of 2013.

Reported operating income was down by 19.2 percent to $2,531 million, while adjusted operating income was up by 2.8 percent to $3,105 million.

Reported net income was down by 14.4 percent to $1,470 million, while adjusted net income was up by 5.0 percent to $1,831 million.

And reported net income per diluted share was down by 12.4 percent to $2.75, while adjusted net income per diluted share was up by 7.2 per cent to $3.42.

“Reynolds American continued to deliver growth momentum in the fourth quarter, capping a highly successful year for our operating companies’ core operations and key brands,” said president and CEO Susan M. Cameron in announcing the results. “This strong performance contributed to RAI’s excellent total shareholder return of just under 35 percent for 2014.”

In addition, Cameron said, substantial progress was made in RAI’s transforming tobacco strategy. “Our companies’ innovative new products across categories are enhancing prospects for commercial success in an evolving marketplace, while also underscoring our commitment to reducing the harm caused by tobacco,” she said.

Developments were said to have included:

  • The national expansion of R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company’s VUSE Digital Vapor

Cigarette and the addition of four more adult-oriented styles;

  • The start of the national expansion of Niconovum USA’s ZONNIC nicotine replacement therapy gum; and,
  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s launch of REVO in Wisconsin, which uses

heat-not-burn technology.

Late last month, RAI and Lorillard shareholders approved RAI’s proposed acquisition of Lorillard and divestiture of select brands and assets to a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco.

“We have also substantially complied with the Federal Trade Commission’s second request for information, and the process of obtaining the necessary regulatory and other approvals continues to proceed as expected,” Cameron said. “We remain confident that the transaction will close in the first half of this year.”

Andhra growers seek guidance to the ‘promised land’

| February 11, 2015

Tobacco growers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh are urging world leaders to address the issue of providing them with alternative livelihoods, according to a story in the latest issue of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

So far, the search for the ‘promised land’ of alternative crops, which has been going on for years in a number of countries and regions, has proved almost fruitless.

The growers appear to be jockeying for position ahead of the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which is due to he held in Delhi next year.

They are asking that they be allowed to participate at the meeting so as to present their case before any decision is taken to phase out tobacco cultivation; a request that seems doomed given the secrecy that surrounds these meetings.

And the growers are urging world leaders also to come up with recommendations to eliminate the illegal trade in tobacco products.

And here they are pushing at an open door. The illegal trade eats into government tobacco revenues and its elimination has been a pet project of the WHO for some time.

US FDA commissioner to step down next month

| February 11, 2015

The commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, Margaret A. Hamburg, is to step down by the end of March.

In a letter to her colleagues at the agency, Hamburg said that together they had made significant progress in implementing both the letter and spirit of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

‘Our tobacco compliance and enforcement program has entered into agreements with numerous state and local authorities to enforce the ban on the sale of tobacco products to children and teens; conducted close to 240,000 inspections; written more than 12,100 warning letters to retailers; proposed the extremely important foundational “deeming” rule; and broken new ground for FDA with the launch of the Agency’s first public education campaigns to prevent and reduce tobacco use among our nation’s youth,’ she said in part.

PMI a top employer in Europe

| February 11, 2015

Philip Morris International said yesterday that it had been recognized as a top employer in Europe for the third consecutive year, in recognition of the high standards in its working environment.

Certification was said to have been the result of independent assessment by the Top Employers’ Institute, which also recognized PMI’s affiliates as leading employers in 15 countries in Europe.

“The recognition of Philip Morris International as Top Employer is a reflection of the high standards that we hold ourselves to in our people practices, both in the EU region and across the globe,” said Victoria Shevchuk, vice president human resources EU and PMI labour relations.

“We raise the bar every year to remain contemporary in all we do and to promote our dynamic, rewarding and truly diverse work environment, which is a critical success factor for our business.”

PMI is one of 27 companies to be named top employer regionally this year.

National honors went also to PMI teams in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, UK and Ukraine, doubling the number of PMI affiliates ranked nationally by the Top Employers Institute in 2013.

“Our comprehensive research concluded that PMI and its certified affiliates provide an outstanding employment environment that offers a wide range of creative initiatives for the employees’ personal and professional development” said Judith Oude Sogtoen, director of international business development, Top Employers Institute.

In a note posted on its website, PMI said it employed more than 82,000 people worldwide, of which about 15,000 were based in Europe. ‘The company offers strong reward and recognition programs, robust training and development programs, as well as challenging career opportunities in a global and diverse work environment,’ it said. ‘In 2014 alone, nearly 1,800 of PMI’s employees worked outside their home country on an international assignment.’

The note went on to say that the Top Employer certification was awarded by the Top Employer Institute following a robust assessment, validated by the auditing company Grant Thornton, of the companies’ practices in a number of areas, including compensation and employee benefits, career development, working conditions and training and development.

Cigar industry mourns Tony Barone

| February 10, 2015

Cigar icon Tony Barone died this week after a brief battle with cancer. Barone’s passing comes less than two years after he retired from Commonwealth-Altadis, following a long and illustrious career.

The family will hold a “life celebration” for Barone on Saturday, on Feb. 14 in Pompano Beach, Florida, USA.

Born in Tampa, Florida Barone was the fourth generation in his family to work with cigars. He started his career at BIC Corp. and later joined Hav-A-Tampa, where he served in various sales and marketing functions.

Barone’s sales skills were legendary. Colleagues said he could sell a million cigars by simply picking up the phone.

Plain packaging ‘consultation’ planned in Norway

| February 10, 2015

The Norwegian government looks set to impose standardized packaging on all tobacco products.

According to a press note issued by the Norway Government Administration Services (NGAS), the government plans to consult on its standardized-packaging proposal, which would apply to cigarettes and snus.

But a note issued by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) said that the ‘communication’ would aim at creating awareness among young people, policy makers, and interested organizations and groups as to why standardized packaging was an important and necessary measure to reduce the uptake of smoking and positively impact people’s health.

The note was issued after a press conference that included the Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services, Bent Høie, and the secretary general of the Norwegian Cancer Society, Anne Lise Ryel.

In the NGAS press note, Høie was quoted as saying that it was known that young people were influenced by the appearance of tobacco packaging. ‘Packaging may be what makes them try tobacco for the first time, or what deters them from it,’ he said in the note. ‘No one wants young people to use tobacco, and it’s time to stop the marketing of tobacco products to young people.’

Høie went on to talk of the dangers of smoking and snus consumption. ‘Smoking remains one of our most significant public health challenges,’ he said. ‘Every year, about 6,600 people in Norway die from diseases caused by smoking. Snus (smokeless tobacco) is also harmful to health and can cause cancer, type 2 diabetes and increased mortality connected to a number of diseases. Snus use during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth and stillbirth.

‘Smoking among young people has declined over the past decade, and five percent of 16-24 year olds smoke. We have however seen a sharp increase among young people who use snus in the last decade…

‘The large increase in snus use among youth started after the snus industry began developing products that appeal to young people, including snus boxes with new designs, new colors and flavorings such as vanilla, menthol and licorice. My goal is to prevent children and young people from using tobacco.’

The NGAS note said the Ministry of Health and Care Services would publish the consultation on the proposal at the end of February.

Under the proposal, all tobacco packaging would have to use a specific color (dark or dull green perhaps), brand and variant names would have to use a standardized color, font, size and location on the package, and manufacturer’s logos and other design elements would be banned.

white cloud cigarettes

pattyn banner

itm banner