Japan Tobacco International reports that core net sales (excluding tax) grew by 4.4% in the first quarter of 2011, driven primarily by pricing and volume increases, while at constant rates of exchange, JTI’s sales (excluding tax) grew by 6.5%.
Global Flagship Brands (GFB) and total shipment volume increased by 2.1% and 0.5% respectively, with GFB growth driven by the markets of Russia, Turkey, Taiwan and Korea.
JTI says that year-on-year market shares continued to grow in most key markets, including Turkey, Taiwan, Italy, France and Russia.
GLOBAL FLAGSHIP BRANDS
With reference to its Global Flagship brands, JTI said that Winston shipment volume grew by 3.1%, driven by strong performances in Russia, Turkey and Italy which compensated for declines in Spain and Ukraine. However, Camel shipment volumes declined by 5.7% due to significant industry contraction in Spain.
Mild Seven shipment volume increased by 16.4% with particularly strong growth in Taiwan and Korea, while LD shipment volume increased by 5.5% due to growth in Russia and despite continued industry contraction in Ukraine.
SHIPMENT VOLUME BY REGION
South and Western Europe saw both total and GFB shipment volume decrease by 9.7% and 9.1% respectively compared to the same period of the prior year. JTI said that the volume decrease was a result of significant industry contraction in Spain and in Greece, which was slightly off-set by a volume increase in Italy. Market share increased in the key markets of Italy and France.
In North and Central Europe total shipment volume increased by 1.1%, driven by a volume increase ahead of a tax hike in March in the UK. GFB shipments increased by 4.1%. Market share grew in Sweden and Poland.
By contrast, GFB shipment volume grew by 7.3% in the CIS, while total shipment volume increased by 0.7%. This volume increase was due to ‘solid growth in Russia’ where GFB shipment volume grew by 9.2% compared to the previous year, strengthening JTI’s number one position.
The company said that this improved performance was off-set by continued industry contraction in Ukraine, resulting from numerous tax hikes. Market share increased in Russia.
Lastly, rest-of-the-world total shipment volume increased by 5.3% driven by growth in the Middle East, Taiwan, Korea and Turkey. GFB volume increased by 3.9%. Market share increased in Turkey, Taiwan, Korea and Malaysia.