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Spanish market challenges cigarette manufacturer

Thu 24th Mar 2011

Imperial Tobacco, manufacturer of popular cigarette brands such as Lambert & Butler, has report that overall sales by volume has fallen by 1% in its half-year to end-March due to a significant change in buying patterns.

Spain remains of particular concern to the group as the traditionally strong Spanish market is being challenged on 3 fronts : There was an increase in taxes on tobacco products at the end of last year; a ban on smoking in public places; and the on-going weak economy.

Earlier last month the Spanish Treasury's Tobacco Industry Commission revealed how sales of all cigarettes for January has fallen by 32% compared to December, and that the total number of packets sold in one month had dropped below the 200 million mark for the first time.

However, despite falling sales, the Imperial group still expect half-year revenues to increase by 2%.

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