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Ending proves this is no shaggy dog tale

| November 1, 2013

Imperial Tobacco’s Czech operations have supported a competition to find the best sniffer dogs used by customs officials to detect illicit tobacco.

The contest, staged at the customs training centre in north Bohemia, involved dogs from Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland and Slovenia, as well as Czech dogs.

The aim of the competition was to recognize the skills of the sniffer dogs and their handlers in the ongoing fight against the illicit trade.

“Around eight out of 10 seizures of illegal tobacco result from using trained sniffer dogs,” said Josef Dušánek, head of the dog section for Czech customs.

“So we’re grateful for the support of Imperial Tobacco in helping us to stage this international competition where dogs and handlers can pit their skills against each other.”

Photo: Kamil Provaznik, Imperial’s finance and CLA manager for Czech Republic and Slovakia (second left), meets with Josef Dušánek, with Czech customs dog handlers and their animals in attendance.

Universal to webcast 2Q conference call

| November 1, 2013

Universal Corporation is due to webcast a conference call from 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 5 following the release of its second-quarter results after market close on that date.

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

A replay of the conference call will be available at the same address until Feb. 5, and a taped replay will also be available from 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 until Nov. 19 at (855) 859-2056. The telephone replay identification number is 92538183.

NDC appoints Patterson VP global customer care

| October 31, 2013

terriNDC Infrared Engineering has appointed Terry Patterson as vice president of global customer care for its sensors, systems and metals divisions. Patterson’s responsibilities involve managing NDC’s customer care division and for developing its various support products that are designed to maximize the return on investment for its customers.

Patterson has 25 years of experience in service management in higher education and companies such as NCR, AT&T, Northrop Grumman, Art Center College of Design and Rapiscan Systems. He holds both a Bachelor of Science and an MBA from the University of Redlands in California, USA.

 

New logo BMJ

| October 31, 2013

bmjCigarette paper manufacturer BMJ has a new logo and slogan. The logo comprises a blue square and red letter type that appears to peel away in the left bottom corner. The square is meant to represent BMJ’s confidence and pursuit of perfection, according to BMJ CEO Omar Rahmanadi, while the peel effect symbolizes the company’s passion for unveiling new solutions. BMJ’s new slogan, “Eureka Everyday!” summarizes BMJ’s commitment to innovation. Alongside the new logo, BMJ will also be unveiling a new corporate website, www.bmjpaperpack.com.

 

JT’s volume inches up but JTI’s volume drops sharply in first six months

| October 31, 2013

Japan Tobacco Inc.’s domestic cigarette sales volume during the six months from April to September, at 59.6 billion, was up by 0.1 percent on that of April–September 2012.

In announcing this morning its consolidated results, JT said that a strong performance by Mevius had contributed to its domestic market share reaching 60.6 percent for April–September, up from 59.5 percent for April–September 2012.

The share increase had been led by a number of new product and sales promotion initiatives, including the introduction of value-added products into the growing menthol segment, it said.

At the same time, the company’s core revenue from domestic cigarette sales grew by 0.2 percent to ¥335.8 billion, but its adjusted EBITDA fell by 0.6 percent to ¥153.3 billion.

Meanwhile, Japan Tobacco International’s total cigarette and cigarette-equivalent shipment volume during the six months from January to June, at 201.6 billion, was down by 5.1 percent on that of January–June 2012.

Within that total, GFB (global flagship brand) shipment volume was down by 2.3 percent to 127.9 billion.

The fall in total volume was put down to continuing industry contraction and trade inventory adjustments in the first quarter.

“Year-on-year market share continued to grow in most key markets,” JT reported. “In Russia, we increased GFB share of market and, as a result, total share of value.”

GFB shipment volume declined as growth in the Caucasus markets, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Russia and other CIS markets could not fully offset industry contraction in other markets, particularly those of Europe.

JTI’s core revenue and adjusted EBITDA in U.S. dollars grew by 2.0 percent and 4.9 percent respectively as a price/mix improvement more than compensated for the volume decline and unfavorable currency movements. At constant rates of exchange, core revenue and adjusted EBITDA grew by 4.1 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively.

Including the results of its other businesses, JT’s April–September revenue increased by 9.6 percent to ¥1,159.1 billion and its adjusted EBITDA increased by 13.0 percent to ¥371.7.

Operating profit was up by 30.8 percent to ¥347.4 billion and the profit attributable to the owners of the parent increased by 40.5 percent to ¥237.1 billion.

JT’s president and CEO, Mitsuomi Koizumi, who yesterday announced that JT was slashing its domestic workforce by about 18 percent, shutting factories and cutting back on certain operations so as to protect profits, said today, in part, that the company was confident it would continue to deliver double-digit full-year earnings growth on a constant currency basis. “The overall results of the first two quarters indicate that we are on track to achieve our full-year targets,” he said.

JTI reported separately that its total cigarette shipment during January to September, at 311.2 billion, was down by 5.1 percent on that of January–September 2012, with GFB volume down by 2.1 percent to 198.2 billion.

Tobacconists want exclusive right to sell e-cigarettes in France

| October 31, 2013

Tobacconists in France are claiming that e-cigarettes fall under the tobacco sale monopoly law and should therefore be sold exclusively by them, according to a EurActiv story.

“We want that the sale of the electronic cigarette is done exclusively within the framework of the network of tobacconists,” said Jean-Luc Renaud, secretary general of the confederation of tobacconists.

At present, e-cigarettes are sold in a variety of shops, but a tobacconist is said to have lodged an “unfair competition” complaint against a supplier on the grounds that the product can be considered to be a derivative of tobacco.

The EurActiv story said there was a legal vacuum on the matter in France, even though a law of 1983 stated that cigarettes and smoking products “fall under the monopoly distribution of tobacconists,” “even if they do not contain tobacco.”

Meanwhile, another legal controversy is enveloping e-cigarettes, and that has to do with advertising. Tobacco advertising is prohibited in France under the Evin law, but this does not seem to cover e-cigarettes.

French Health Minister Marisol Touraine has said several times that advertising for e-cigarettes would be prohibited, but she has not tabled legislation.

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