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Imperial links with Ivory Coast college

| July 1, 2014

Imperial Tobacco has signed an agreement in the Ivory Coast to train students from a technical college as manufacturing operators.

“The scheme will enable students to use the skills they learn in the classroom at facilities operated by our subsidiary SITAB Industries,” according to a note posted on the company’s website.

“Up to four trainees a year on [a] dedicated course being taught by the National Institute Polytechnic Houphouet Boigny in Yamoussoukro will be taken on at our Bouake factory.”

A three-year partnership agreement was signed by Jacques Bouende, lead factory manager West and Central Africa, and the institute’s director general, N’Guessan Koffi.

“This is a great way to support our vision of the factory becoming a manufacturing center for learning for West and Central Africa,” said Bouende.

“It represents a real opportunity to identify and recruit the best students locally and invest in the future of our business.”

Thai court approves bigger warnings

| June 30, 2014

Thai cigarette manufacturers will have to print even larger pictorial health warnings by Sept. 23, now that the Supreme Administrative Court has ruled in support of a new regulation by the Public Health Ministry, according to a report in The Nation.

In line with the regulation, pictorial warnings must now cover at least 85 percent of space on the two largest sides of each package.

Earlier, the tobacco industry had secured an injunction from the Central Administrative Court.

The Supreme Administrative Court, however, decided to scrap the injunction on the grounds that the Public Health Ministry has proceeded with proper procedures and introduced the regulation to protect people’s health.

There will be a 90-day grace period for retailers to clear their existing stock of cigarettes, according to the Disease Control Department.

Currently, cigarette packages have pictorial warnings that cover about 55 percent of packets. After the grace period, companies that fail to abide by the new regulation will face a fine.

Korea to ban product discriptors

| June 30, 2014

Cigarette makers in South Korea will be banned from using such words as light, low tar and pure on cigarette packaging from next year, reports The Korea Times.

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced revised decrees on Sunday to forbid tobacco makers from using such misleading words on packages or in advertisements.

The rules will go into effect on Jan. 22. Violators will face up to a year in jail or a fine of up to WON10 million.

The rules also call for cigarette manufacturers to make low-ignition propensity cigarettes beginning July 22, 2015.

Manufacturers who fail to produce fire-safe cigarettes after that date could have their licenses revoked.

Zimbabwe sales near to 2001 peak

| June 30, 2014

Zimbabwe sold nearly 190 million kg during the 2013–2014 season, surpassing the target of 180 million kg, reports New Zimbabwe, quoting the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).

Auction and contract sales fetched a combined $604.7 million.

Although auction marketing is set to end soon, contract sales would continue until further notice, TIMB added.

In 2013, 166 million kg of tobacco worth $616 million was sold.

TIMB chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri said he hoped the remaining crop to be sold under the contract system would push production figures for 2014 to 200 million kg.

If met, the target would be slightly lower than the country’s peak production of 231 million kg in 2001.

China has been the largest buyer of Zimbabwean tobacco over the past years.

Philippines to audit Mighty Corp.

| June 27, 2014

The Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has started an audit on the tax payments of cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp., reports ABS-CBN News.

BIR personnel have been assigned to Mighty’s manufacturing facilities to ensure they are complying with tax payments.

The investigation follows allegations that the company has been underdeclaring its production volume, resulting in billions of pesos in foregone revenues for the government.

Mighty produces the Mighty Menthol and Mighty Filter brands. In February, it defended its pricing as a “marketing” strategy and noted that the company pays no royalties to foreign parents, giving it a cost advantage.

 

 

PMI buys Nicocigs

| June 27, 2014

Philip Morris International has purchased Nicocigs, a leading U.K.-based vapor company whose principal brand is Nicolites. The transaction is not subject to regulatory approval and is not material to PMI’s 2014 consolidated financial position.

“This acquisition is complementary to our previously announced agreement for the license and distribution of Altria Group’s e-vapor products,” said Drago Azinovic, PMI’s president, European Union region.

“In addition, it provides PMI with immediate access to, and a significant presence in, the growing e-vapor category in the U.K. market, as well as a strong retail presence, which further complements the current restructuring of our distribution arrangements in the U.K.”

Nicocigs was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Birmingham, U.K. The company employs a field force of approximately 40 sales representatives, and its products are distributed to more than 20,000 points of sale within the U.K.

Nicocigs 2014 April year-to-date retail share was 27.3 percent according to Nielsen.

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