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Flue-cured export earnings up hugely in Zimbabwe

| February 3, 2015

Zimbabwe’s flue-cured exports in January, at 23.5 million kg, were up by 327 percent on those of January 2014, 5.5 million kg, according to a story in the Zimbabwe Herald.

Export prices were said to have averaged $7.70 per kg in January, up from $4.22 per kg during January 2013.

As a result, flue-cured export earnings increased by 680 percent from $23.2 million to $181.7 million.

Zimbabwe’s 2014 flue-cured tobacco marketing season ended with 216.2 million kg having been sold, 30 percent more than was sold during the 2013 season, according to a story in The Herald in September.

Earnings were increased by 12 percent from USS612.1 million to US$685.2 million, but growers had to put up with an average price that was down by 14 percent from US$3.67 per kg to US$3.17 per kg.

One observer claimed in November that Zimbabwe could up its tobacco export earnings to about $6 billion if it made those exports in the form of cigarettes.

Administrators lead the way in South Lebanon

| February 3, 2015

Public administration buildings in South Lebanon are due to become tobacco smoke-free zones from March 1, according to a story by Mohammed Zaatari for the Daily Star that quoted an announcement by the South Lebanon Governor Mansour Daou.

The ban, part of Law 174, which prohibits smoking in all public places, will apply to all public administration buildings in the southern governorate, as well as police and military offices.

Those found to be in violation of the law will be liable to a fine of up to LL135,000.

The governor described the decision as a “civilizing” measure intended to curb the consequences of smoking, which he said were huge and affected everyone.

“We officials in public administration should be the first to implement Law 174 to serve as an example to others,” he added.

Smokers, however, will not be left with nowhere to go; as happens in some parts of the world, because special smoking zones will be created outside.

“They [smokers] will have to bear the cold of the winter and the sun of the summer and we will provide the ashtrays,” Daou said.

Sustainable pack debate opened up by Iggesund

| February 3, 2015

Iggesund Paperboard is working with the American crowdsourcing company Crowdspring to challenge the world’s designers to improve existing consumer packaging.

“Every day we all see examples of packaging that could be improved by a better choice of materials or a better design,” said Staffan Sjöberg, who is in charge of the project at Iggesund. “Now we’re giving designers all over the world the chance to contribute their ideas on how to replace packaging made of glass, plastic or metal with solutions that use paperboard.”

Sjöberg said that Iggesund was not looking for inexpensive ideas that could be put into commercial use. Instead, the aim was to get a picture of how global designers believed they could steer packaging development in a more sustainable direction.

“We will not claim any commercial rights to the ideas that come in,” Sjöberg said. “We’re just interested in getting a snapshot of how designers believe they can improve the packaging they see in the shops they visit on a daily basis. We want to publish the ideas and maybe reproduce some of them in physical form but we are not interested in exploiting them commercially.”

For Crowdspring the collaboration with Iggesund Paperboard is an unusual project. Normally the online marketplace’s services are used when someone wants either a number of inexpensive design proposals or a wide range of ideas.

“This is an unusual reason for initiating a project with us,” said Mike Samson, who is co-ordinating the project with Iggesund. “But we believe its combination of sustainability and innovative thinking will attract many of the thousands of designers listed in our database.”

Lorillard to announce results February 11

| February 3, 2015

Lorillard said yesterday that it would release its fourth quarter and full year 2014 results on February 11, before the market opens.

The news release is due to be made available under the Investor Relations section of Lorillard’s website at

Foreign cigarette manufacturers outperform KT&G

| February 2, 2015

Foreign cigarette makers in Korea outperformed Korean brands in market share due to their low-price strategies.

According to data from the nation’s two convenience store chains, foreign brands earned about 55 percent market share in sales and 60 percent in volume in January, dethroning the long dominant KT&G, the only Korean cigarette-maker.

This is the first time in 29 years that KT&G lost its dominant market share against the the big-three foreign players. Philip Morris temporarily beat Korean products in sales when it first entered the local market with Marlboro in 1986.

PM USA’s cigarette volume down but share up

| February 2, 2015

Philip Morris USA’s cigarette shipment volume during the 12 months to the end of December, at 125,390 million, was down by 3.0 percent on that of the 12 months to the end of December 2013, 129,312 million.

Marlboro shipments were down by 3.0 percent to 108,023 million while shipments of other premium brands were down by 8.7 percent to 7,047 million.

Discount brand shipments were increased by 1.5 percent to 10,320 million.

PM USA’s share of the retail cigarette market during the year to the end of December, at 50.9 percent, was up by 0.2 of a percentage point.

Marlboro’s share was up by 0.1 of a percentage point to 43.8 percent while that of the company’s other premium brands was down by 0.2 of a percentage point to 2.9 percent.

The company’s discount-brands share was up by 0.3 of a percentage point to 4.2 percent.

In reporting its results on Friday, Altria said that PM USA’s 2014 fourth-quarter and full-year reported domestic cigarettes shipment volumes had declined by 3.0 percent and 1.7 percent respectively, primarily due to an industry-wide decline, partially offset by retail share gains. ‘When adjusted for trade inventory changes and other factors, PM USA estimates that its fourth-quarter and full-year domestic cigarettes shipment volume decreased approximately two percent and three percent, respectively, and that total industry cigarette volumes declined approximately 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter and 3.5 percent for the full year of 2014,’ it said.

Middleton’s cigar shipments during the year to the end of December, at 1,271 million, were up by 6.1 percent on those of the year to the end of December 2013, 1,198 million.

Shipments of Black & Mild were up by 5.9 percent to 1,245 million while shipments of other brands were increased by 19.0 percent to 25 million.

The increase in cigar shipments during the full year and the fourth quarter (3.9 percent) was said to have been driven primarily by Black & Mild’s strong performance in the tipped cigars segment, including with Black & Mild Jazz.

The company’s share of the domestic retail cigar market was down by 0.1 of a percentage point to 29.0 percent, with Black & White’s share down by 0.3 of a percentage point to 28.6 percent but with the share of its other brands increased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, PM USA and USSTC’s combined smokeless product shipments (cans and packs) during the year to the end of December, at 793.3 million, were increased by 0.7 percent on those of 2013, 787.5 million.

Copenhagen shipments were increased by 5.3 percent to 448.6 million while Skoal shipments were down by 5.0 percent to 269.6 million.

Other-brand shipments were down by 3.2 percent to 75.1 million.

PM USA and USSTC’s combined share of the retail market in smokeless tobacco increased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 55.2 percent.

Copenhagen’s share was increased by 1.5 percentage points to 30.8 percent while Skoal’s share was down by 1.0 percentage point to 20.4 percent.

The share of the companies’ other brands was down by 0.3 of a percentage point to 4.0 percent.

In presenting Altria’s results, chairman and CEO Marty Barrington said that Altria had delivered another year of strong business results and excellent returns for shareholders.

“We grew adjusted diluted EPS [earnings per share] by almost 16 percent in the fourth quarter and by 8.0 percent for the full year, in line with our long-term EPS goal,” he said. “We increased the dividend for the 48th time in 45 years. Altria also produced total shareholder return of 34.5 percent, well above returns for the S&P 500 and the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Index.

“Our business results were anchored by a very strong performance in the smokeable products segment, complemented by contributions from our diverse business model. “We’re also pleased with the steady progress Nu Mark is making as it builds e-vapor category leadership; Nu Mark successfully executed its national launch of MarkTen, which is now available in over 130,000 retail stores.”

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