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Sales down, share up at PM USA

| July 23, 2014

Philip Morris USA’s domestic cigarette shipment volume during the three months to the end of June, at 32,134 million, was down by 5.0 per cent on that of the three months to the end of June 2013, 33,819 million.

Marlboro shipments fell by 4.9 per cent to 27,679 million; shipments of other premium brands fell by 10.3 per cent to 1,829 million; while shipments of discount brands dropped by 1.3 per cent to 2,626 million.

PM USA’s share of the domestic retail cigarette market during the three months to the end of June, at 51.0 per cent, was increased by 0.3 of a percentage point on that of the three months to the end of June 2013. Marlboro’s share, at 44.0 per cent, was up by 0.3 of a percentage point, while the share of its other premium brands was down by 0.2 of a percentage point to 2.9 per cent and the share of the company’s discount brands was increased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 4.1 per cent.

The Altria Group yesterday published its second-quarter and first-half results for 2014.

Middleton’s cigar shipment volume during the three months to the end of June, at 331 million, was increased by 11.1 per cent on that of the three months to the end of June 2013, 298 million. Black & Mild brand shipments were up by 8.8 per cent to 320 million, while shipments of other brands increased from four million to 11 million.

Middleton’s share of the domestic retail cigar market during the three months to the end of June, at 29.4 per cent, was down by 0.2 of a percentage point on that of the three months to the end of June 2013. Black & Mild’s share was down by 0.4 of a percentage point to 29.0 per cent, while the share of other brands was up by 0.2 of a percentage point to 0.4 per cent.

USSTC and PM USA’s combined, domestic smokeless-products shipment-volume during the three months to the end of June, at 203.8 million cans and packs, was up by 1.6 per cent on that of the three months to the end of June 2013, 200.5 million.

Shipments of Copenhagen were up by 7.8 per cent to 115.0 million; those of Skoal were down by 6.1 per cent to 69.3 million; while those of other brands were down by 2.5 per cent to 19.5 million.

USSTC and PM USA’s share of the US domestic market for smokeless products during the three months to the end of June, at 55.1 per cent, was increased by 0.1 of a percentage point on that of the three months to the end of June 2013. Copenhagen’s share was up by 1.5 percentage points to 30.5 per cent; Skoal’s share was down by 1.1 percentage points to 20.6 per cent; while the share of other brands was down by 0.3 of a percentage point to 4.0 per cent.

Meanwhile, PM USA’s cigarette shipment volume during the six months to the end of June, at 60,883 million, was down by 3.8 per cent on that of the six months to the end of June 2013, 63,320 million. Marlboro shipments fell by 3.8 per cent to 52,495 million; shipments of other premium brands fell by 9.5 per cent to 3,458 million, while shipments of discount brands decreased by 0.3 per cent to 4,930 million.

Middleton’s cigar shipment volume during the six months to the end of June, at 605 million, was increased by 6.0 per cent on that of the six months to the end of June 2013, 571 million. Black & Mild brand shipments were up by 4.8 per cent to 590 million, while shipments of other brands increased by 87.5 per cent to 15 million.

USSTC and PM USA’s combined, domestic, smokeless-products shipment-volume during the six months to the end of June, at 389.9 million, was increased by 3.6 per cent on that of the six months to the end of June 2013, 376.2 million. Copenhagen shipments were up by 9.3 per cent to 218.9 million; Skoal shipments were down by 3.5 per cent to 133.3 million; while shipments of other brands were down by 0.3 per cent to 37.7 million.

Altria’s second-quarter reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased by 1.6 per cent to $0.64, and its second-quarter adjusted diluted EPS, which excludes the impact of special items, increased by 4.8 per cent to $0.65

Altria’s first-half reported diluted EPS decreased by 6.8 per cent to $1.23, and its first-half adjusted diluted EPS increased by 5.2 per cent to $1.22.

“During the first six months of 2014, Altria grew adjusted diluted EPS by 5.2 per cent behind solid performance by our companies’ leading premium brands and the strength of our diverse business model,” said Marty Barrington, Altria’s chairman and CEO.

“Our companies are delivering against their strategies and their full-year plans are on track. We thus are tightening our guidance and now expect to deliver full-year adjusted diluted EPS growth in a range of 7 per cent to 9 per cent.”

“We’re also pleased with our progress in innovative products. Nu Mark began its national expansion of MarkTen in June and is achieving strong distribution.

“Nu Mark also continues to integrate Green Smoke into its business platform, beginning with its supply chain capabilities.”

Waiting for a safe e-cigarette in Sweden

| July 23, 2014

A Swedish court has ruled that electronic cigarettes should be treated as pharmaceutical products subject to approval by the Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket – MPA), according to a story in The Local.

The ruling means that it is illegal for these products to be sold in grocery and convenience stores.

“We will continue our oversight, which will result in more sales bans when the ruling becomes final,” said Martin Burman at the MPA.

In October, the MPA issued a sales ban on one of the biggest retailers in the electronic cigarette market.

The decision was appealed and several new sales outlets popped up during the Administrative   Court’s deliberations.

The court has now rejected the appeal and the MPA hopes that the decision will allow for greater control of the market.

“We have a good check on the major importers and will focus on imports,” said Burman. “Municipalities are able to conduct oversight of sales in small shops.”

The MPA seems not to be opposed to the concept of electronic cigarettes and apparently hopes that the ban will lead to new, safer products being launched on to the market.

“Those sold today are neither proven safe or effective,” said Burman.

“We believe that e-cigs are a great way to stop smoking but an approved product has to be developed first.”

Smokio synchronizes with US trade body

| July 23, 2014

Smokio, described as the world’s first connected electronic cigarette that synchronizes automatically with users’ smartphones, said yesterday that it had formed a partnership with the Asian American Trade Association Council (AATAC), an organization designed to build partnerships between convenience stores and manufacturers.

“We are very proud to partner with AATAC to be able to offer Smokio to such a large number of retail outlets across the US,” said Alexandre Prot, co-founder of Smokio, in a press note. “Convenience stores are one of the most important channels for our company, as these types of stores are where a majority of electronic cigarettes are sold.”

Smokio is said to have been developed so as to synchronize automatically with users’ smartphones with the aim of monitoring consumption and tracking the health and economic benefits a user is experiencing by transitioning from tobacco cigarettes to electronic cigarettes.

Menthol report barred over conflicts of interest within FDA advisory panel

| July 22, 2014

A federal judge ruled yesterday that the US Food and Drug Administration cannot use an advisory panel’s 2011 report on menthol cigarettes because its members had conflicts of interest, according to a story by Michael Felberbaum for the ColumbusRepublic.

Felberbaum reported that while the agency had since conducted an independent review on the public health impact of menthol cigarettes, the ruling could hinder the FDA’s ability to defend any future regulation of such products.

US District Court Judge Richard Leon ordered the FDA to reconstitute the tobacco panel and barred the agency from using its older report on menthol cigarettes.

Lorillard and Reynolds American sued the agency in 2011 alleging conflicts of interest and bias by several members of the panel tasked with advising the FDA on tobacco-related issues.

The agency argued that the panel met federal standards and that the cigarette manufacturers’ ‘alleged injuries are entirely speculative’.

In his order, Leon said the FDA erred in determining that the members didn’t have conflicts of interest and therefore, the agency’s appointment of those members was “arbitrary and capricious”, and tainted both the panel and its work.

“Conflicts of interest – whether actual or perceived – undermine the public’s confidence in the agency’s decision-making process and render its final product suspect, at best,” he wrote.

Homeopathic liquid nicotine launched

| July 22, 2014

The Aquitine Group yesterday launched nation-wide in the US Aqua-tineTM, which is described as a colorless, odorless homeopathic liquid nicotine formulation designed specifically to satisfy tobacco cravings.

According to a press not issued through PRNewswire, Aqua-tine is an alternative to traditional and electronic cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco.

‘The product comes in airtight 2.4 ml individually sealed packets,’ the press note said. ‘The liquid contents of each Aqua-tine packet are mixed into a beverage of one’s choice and then consumed.’

The company said that up to two of the 2.4 ml packets could be consumed each hour, though it does not recommend using Aqua-tine with energy drinks or alcohol.

Aquino signs law on graphic warnings

| July 22, 2014

President Benigno Aquino III has signed a law that will require the inclusion of graphic health warnings on cigarette packs sold in the Philippines, according to a story at GMA News Online.

The new law (R.A. 10643: ‘An Act to Effectively Instil Health Consciousness through Graphic Health Warnings on Tobacco Products’) will require that the bottom half of the front and back panels of cigarette packs are given over to the warnings.

There will be 12 different warnings, which are scheduled to be changed every two years.

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