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JT publishes sustainability report

| June 15, 2015

Japan Tobacco Inc. has published the JT Group Sustainability Report FY2014, outlining its sustainability initiatives and performance for the year ending 31st December, 2014. The report is available at http://www.jt.com/csr/report/index.html.

JT said the report contained Standard Disclosures from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. However, it was not yet ‘in accordance’ with the Guidelines. But it was aiming for its FY2015 report to be in accordance with the GRI G4 ‘Core’.

“We are only at the beginning of our journey and we recognize that there is much more to do,” said Mitsuomi Koizumi, president and CEO of JT.

“We must – and will – make further strides on sustainability if we are to continue our success.

“As we implement improvements in the years to come, we look forward to an even more prosperous future that will benefit not only the Group but society in general.”

Bidi packs undergo “face-lift” to attract smokers

| June 12, 2015

A number of bidi makers in India have introduced their products in sleek new packaging with filters, exotic flavors and organic ingredients in an effort to attract urban smokers searching for a cheaper alternative in light of a recent rise in cigarette prices, according to The Economic Times. The traditional hand-rolled “cigarettes” wrapped in tendu leaves are also being advertised via new social media campaigns and recently launched websites.

Anwar Ali, owner of Bigarette Co.—which manufactures bidi brands Bigarette, Black Swan, Sumo, 8 AM and Enigma—said bidi is quickly becoming a product of choice for urban consumers looking for less expensive products after the government raised the excise tax by 25 percent for cigarettes of length 65 mm or under and by 15 percent for cigarettes longer than 65 mm.

According to brand strategy expert Harish Bijoor, bidi makers want to make their category “aspirational by Anglicising the brand names and repositioning the bidi as the Indian version of hand-rolled cigar,” and added that “[a] vernacular brand name is always downmarket for Indian consumers and hence the need to launch newer brand names.”

Poll finds vaping rates rise with income

| June 12, 2015

A Reuters/Ipsos poll of 5,679 adults conducted between May 19 and June 4 found that use of cigarettes as well as e-cigarettes/vaporizers increases with income. According to the survey results, 12.4 percent of all adults with incomes greater than $75,000 per year reported using vapor devices, compared with 10.6 percent of adults whose income was $50,000 to $75,000 per year, 10 percent of adults making $25,000 to $50,000 per year and 8.9 percent of adults with incomes less than $25,000 per year. Of adults under the age of 40, 21.6 percent reported that they smoke cigarettes, while 15 percent reported that they vape.

Of the vapers, 70.5 percent indicated that they took up vaping within the past year, whereas 29.5 percent reported that they had started vaping more than one year ago. The percentage of Americans who reported smoking combustible cigarettes or vaping was 23.7 percent, compared with 19 percent for cigarette smoking alone.

Poll finds increase in U.S. vaping rate

| June 12, 2015

A poll of 5,679 U.S. adults by conducted by Reuters/Ipsos between May 19 and June 4 found that approximately 10 percent of them vape, including 15 percent of respondents under the age of 40.

About 75 percent of the vapers surveyed also reported a continued use of combustible cigarettes. Seventy percent of vapers reported that they picked up the habit within the last year, with 40 percent indicating they were motivated by the lower long-term costs of vaping compared with traditional cigarette use as well as the fact that they could use vapor devices indoors.

Eighty percent of the vapers said the devices were “a good way to help people quit smoking;” however, the poll found that less than 40 percent of all the adults surveyed viewed vaping as a good way to help current cigarette users quit.

The 2015 survey results show a vaping rate that is significantly higher than the vaping rate in 2013, when the U.S. government estimated that only 2.6 percent of Americans used e-cigarettes.

Brother Industries acquires Domino Printing Sciences

| June 12, 2015
Domino_Nigel Bond_HR

Nigel Bond, CEO of Domino Printing Sciences

Brother Industries has formally completed its acquisition of Domino Printing Sciences, a U.K.-based developer of inkjet printing and laser printing products, the company announced on June 12. Brother cited the strength of Domino’s customer base and its desire to develop the scope and coverage of the digital printing sector as primary reasons for acquiring the company, which has a global reputation for the development and manufacture of high-quality coding, marking and printing equipment.

 

“Brother respects and values Domino’s brand equity, technologies and strategic vision for the business and the markets it serves,” says Nigel Bond, CEO of Domino Printing Sciences. “As such, the companies will be working closely together on natural growth opportunities, as well as explore collaborative possibilities to develop new products.”

 

Trading in the Domino shares on the London Stock Exchange’s market for listed securities and the listing of the Domino shares on the official list were each cancelled with effect from 8 a.m. on June 12. All financial results moving forward will be consolidated into Brother Industries. The Domino brand and management structure will be unaltered, and Domino Printing Sciences will operate as an autonomous division within Brother Industries.

 

“This is a very exciting time for Domino, and the acquisition gives the business a solid foundation for the future,” says Bond. “Domino will be able to leverage Brother’s size, manufacturing and R&D facilities, and sales networks to expand its global reach. For Brother, Domino will bring opportunities in new market sectors, as well as a strong customer base built on long term relationships. Brother and Domino share the same values, including a robust commitment to R&D and reputation for quality and service, and we look forward to the successful results this union will yield.”

 

Zimbabwe’s growers suffering effects of low prices

| June 12, 2015

Zimbabwe’s flue-cured tobacco growers are still suffering from the effects of low prices well into the sales season, according to a story in the Daily News relayed by the TMA.

Figures issued by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) indicate that, so far, growers have sold 145.5 million kg of flue-cured leaf at an average price of US$2.94 per kg and earned nearly US$430 million. The leaf marketing season started on March 4.

Compared with figures recorded during the corresponding period of the 2014 marketing season, the sales volume is down by 7.57 percent and the value of those sales is down by 14.00 percent.

Despite the fact that cigarette prices seem always to trend upwards; the amount per kg being paid to Zimbabwe’s growers is trending down.

The TIMB said growers had sold 105.4 million kg of leaf by contract and 40 million kg over auction platforms.

Of the tobacco sold at auction, about 19 million kg was sold over the Tobacco Sales Floors, about 12 million kg was sold over the Boka Tobacco Auction Floors and about eight million kg over the Premier Tobacco Floors.

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