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Illegal trade agreement has no liability release clause

| April 27, 2015

The European Commission has said that the 2010 anti-fraud co-operation agreement between British American Tobacco, EU member states and the Commission does not include a clause releasing the company from ‘any civil claims arising out of past conduct relating to illicit trade’.

The Commission was replying to a question by Bart Staes, a Belgian politician and MEP for Flanders.

In a preamble to his question, Staes said that on July 15, 2010, BAT had signed an agreement with the EU to combat the illegal trade in tobacco.

‘A press release from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in the UK suggests that the BAT agreement has a discharge clause that releases the company from past liability for smuggling, noting that “the manufacturers (BAT) are released from any civil claims arising out of past conduct relating to illicit trade”,’ Staes said.

‘On the OLAF website no information is provided on the existence of such a clause.’

Staes asked the Commission to confirm or deny that such a clause exists in the 2010 tobacco agreement concluded between BAT and the EU.

‘The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that such a clause does not exist in the 2010 anti-fraud Cooperation Agreement concluded between British American Tobacco, Member States and the EU,’ the Commission said in its written reply.

Jakarta’s tobacco smoking ban largely ignored

| April 27, 2015

Although it has been in place for a decade, a bylaw banning tobacco smoking in public places in Jakarta, Indonesia, is not enforced effectively and so is ignored by many smokers, according to a story in The Jakarta Post.

This is despite the fact that those found to have violated the bylaw are liable to a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment or a fine of up to Rp50 million (US$3,856).

Daryatmo, of the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI), said the prohibition of smoking in public places had made little impression on the general public and that the administration should enact a concerted campaign to raise awareness of the ban.

He said places such as railway stations and bus terminals should have large, visible banners reminding passengers of the ban, and should make regular reminders via the intercom system.

And it was important to employ at railway stations and terminals people whose job it was to watch for violations.

“Sadly, I don’t think that many officials working in public places are very interested in enforcing the smoking ban,” Daryatmo said.

However, he added that, having disseminated information on smoking restrictions, the city administration should begin to enforce the bylaw by imposing criminal punishments on violators, he added.

JT to launch two additional richer-flavor products

| April 27, 2015

Japan Tobacco Inc is due to launch in June two additions to its Mevius Mode series of products that are said to deliver a richer flavor through the inclusion of a ‘lavish blend’.

Like other Mode products, the soon-to-be-launched Mevius Mode 6 100s and Mevius Mode 3 100s will incorporate JT’s LSS (less smoke smell) technology.

Mevius Mode 6 and Mevius Mode 3, which deliver respectively 6 mg of tar and 0.5 mg of nicotine, and 3 mg of tar and 0.3 mg of nicotine, are due to be rolled out nation-wide in Japan.

Swedish Match announces dividend

| April 27, 2015

Swedish Match’s Annual General Meeting has resolved, in accordance with a proposal by the board of directors, to pay a dividend of SEK7.50 per share.

The dividend is payable on April 30 to shareholders of note on April 27.

Price hikes result in KT&G profit surge

| April 24, 2015

KT&G’s first-quarter operating profits and revenue have increased significantly compared to the same period last year, due to price hikes and improvements in its affiliates’ performances, according to a story in the Korea JoongAng Daily.

South Korea’s No. 1 cigarette and ginseng company’s operating profit increased by nearly 65 percent year-on-year to krw428.5 billion ($395 million). The company’s net profit increased by 55 percent to krw308.8 trillion.

Although the company’s sales increased by value to 18 percent from one year ago—to krw1.14 trillion by volume—because of the increased prices of cigarettes, sales have actually decreased. KT&G sold 7.1 billion cigarettes in this year’s first quarter, a 41.4 percent decrease from the first quarter of last year, during which the company sold 12.2 billion cigarettes. The price hike has allowed KT&G to earn krw1,768 in profit on inventory cigarettes per packet.

The company plans to spend the krw330 billion it earned in profits on the price change by giving back to the community.

ITG Brands appoints executive team

| April 24, 2015

ITG Brands, the U.S. division of Imperial Tobacco Group, has announced the appointment of members to serve on its executive team. The team will be led by David H. Taylor, who currently is executive vice president and chief financial officer for Lorillard but was recently named president and CEO of ITG Brands.

The executive team will include Adam Britner—who is currently head of business development for Imperial Tobacco Group—as executive vice president of finance and planning and chief financial officer; Charles E. “Ned” Hennighausen—who is currently executive vice president of production operations for Lorillard—as executive vice president of production operations; Ronald S. Milstein—who is currently executive vice president of legal and external affairs, general counsel and secretary for Lorillard—as executive vice president for external affairs; Randy B. Spell—who is currently executive vice president of marketing and sales for Lorillard—as executive vice president of marketing and sales; Robert D. Wilkey—who is currently general counsel, vice president of legal and corporate affairs for Commonwealth-Altadis—as executive vice president general counsel; William G. Crum—who is currently senior vice president of human resources for Lorillard—as senior vice president of human resources; Kathleen A. Sparrow—who is currently senior vice president of sales for Lorillard—as senior vice president of sales; William R. True—who is currently senior vice president of research and development for Lorillard—as senior vice president of research and development; and Neil L. Wilcox—who is currently senior vice president chief compliance officer for Lorillard—as senior vice president chief compliance officer.

“I’m very pleased to announce the appointment of ITG Brands’ new team of leaders,” said Taylor. “This group represents a wealth of experience across all functional areas and will allow ITG Brands to establish itself as a major competitive player in the U.S. tobacco market.”

The executive team members will immediately assume their new roles upon closing.

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