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Much interest in TFWA Asia Pacific show

| February 6, 2014

Online visitor registration for the annual TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference is due to open on February 19 at

The event is to be staged in the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Center in Singapore on May 11-15.

The TFWA president, Erik Juul-Mortensen, said his association was delighted by the demand for stand space at the exhibition, which was well over the level of demand recorded at the same stage of last year’s event.

In the end, last year’s event attracted 253 exhibiting companies representing thousands of brands, making it the biggest event yet staged by TFWA in the Asia Pacific region.

It attracted, too, more than 2,450 trade visitors, 13 per cent more than attended the 2012 event.

Altria to host presentation webcast

| February 6, 2014

The Altria Group is due to host a webcast of its business presentation at the annual Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca   Raton, Florida, starting about 09.15 hours Eastern Time on February 19.

The webcast, which will be in listen-only mode, will feature a presentation by Marty Barrington, chairman and CEO, and other members of Altria’s senior management team.

Pre-event registration can be completed at, where an archived copy of the webcast will be made available.

Alliance sales down in third quarter

| February 5, 2014

Alliance One International’s gross profit during its third quarter to the end of December, at $83.8 million, was up by 0.9 per cent on that of the third quarter to the end of December 2012, despite sales having decreased by 6.4 per cent to $654.6 million.

“Fiscal year 2014 is on track to experience improved volume and revenue versus last year, with continued focus on core operating income, driven by solid full service volume and strong demand for processing services,” said CEO and president, Pieter Sikkel.

“This is despite pricing to our customers that has not captured the full impact of increases in prices paid to farmers in certain markets, combined with some customers experiencing cigarette volume challenges.

“As such, for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, revenue decreased $44.6 million versus last year, to $654.6 million, impacted by an earlier Chinese New Year in 2014. “Even with these headwinds and $1.9 million of additional restructuring and asset impairment expense versus last year’s quarter, operating income improved 1.6 per cent to $50.1 million or an increase from 7.0 per cent to 7.7 per cent as a percentage of sales, mainly due to a more profitable product mix.”

For the nine months to the end of December, Alliance’s full service volumes, at 324.5 million kg, were increased by 4.8 million kg on those of the nine months to the end of December 2012.

At the same time average selling prices increased by 5.5 per cent to $5.16 per kg.

Armenia raises cigarette output sharply

| February 5, 2014

Cigarette production in Armenia last year, at 7,729,500,000, was up by 25.6 per cent on that of 2012, 6,155,000,000, according to an Armenian News Agency story quoting figures from the National Statistical Service.

The story said also that cigarette exports had risen sharply between 2012 and 2013, though no comparative figures were given.

However, the story did say that cigarette exports ‘during the nine months of the previous year’ had reached about 4,500,000,000.

Armenia is said to export to more than 20 countries, including Iraq, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Syria, Russia and the UAE.

Cigarette prices increased in Jordan

| February 5, 2014

Cigarette prices in Jordan were increased by 100 fils (JD0.10: there are 1,000 fils to the dinar) a pack as of yesterday, while the price of hookah tobacco went up by JD1.2 per kg, according to a story in the Jordan Times.

The Times reported that tobacco prices were usually raised through the issue of a special bylaw that was then approved by a Royal Decree.

Prices could not be lowered without the approval of the government, it added.

About 75 per cent of the price of a pack of cigarettes is accounted for by tax.

New chairman taking over at Imperial

| February 5, 2014

Iain Napier is due to retire as non-executive chairman, and Berge Setrakian is due to retire as a non-executive director at the end of Imperial Tobacco’s annual general meeting, which is being held today.

Deputy chairman Mark Williamson will become chairman, and Michael Herlihy will succeed Williamson as senior independent director. Herlihy will step down as chairman of the remuneration committee and will be succeeded by David Haines.

From tomorrow, Karen Witts is due to become an independent non-executive director of the company and join the audit, remuneration and nominations committees of the board. Witts is group finance director and executive director of Kingfisher PLC.

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