Phillip Morris International (PMI) has reported a -2.8% drop in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EEMA) *total market shipment volumes, which includes the company’s international duty free business.

In Russia and Saudi Arabia, PMI’s cigarette shipment volume declined by 35.8%, impacted by the new excise tax implemented in 2017 resulting in the doubling of retail prices.

The estimated total market in EEMA decreased by 2.8% to one trillion units. PMI’s regional market share decreased 0.3 points to 24.9%.

In the fourth quarter, the increase in PMIs total shipment volume was partially offset by lower cigarette shipment volume in EEMA (notably Russia) and Saudi Arabia, where PMI’s cigarette shipment volume declined 60.3%. This reflected the impact of the aforementioned new excise tax, which was partly offset by North Africa (notably Algeria and Turkey.)


If PMI’s current stance is anything to go by, cigarette shipment would cease altogether in the United Kingdom and the focus would be on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco.

Earlier this year, PMI revealed it had placed full-page advertisements in various major English newspapers (The Daily Mirror, The Sun and The Times) as a first step towards encouraging Britain’s 7.6 million smokers to switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes and heated tobacco such as its IQOS smoke-free product.  

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