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British American Tobacco might bring new brands to PHL

February 11, 2013 6:16pm
Cigarette company British American Tobacco Philippines is looking into the possibility of bringing new brands to the country to expand its market share.

“We are expanding our geographical reach to help increase our sales,” said BAT Philippines general manager James Lafferty in a press briefing on Monday.

BAT is also considering manufacturing its products in the Philippines.

“We are studying the potential for local manufacturing. Maybe we can partner with an existing manufacturer—or we put up our own—but that is still being looked at,” said Lafferty, who added that the study will be completed within the year.

At present, BAT Philippines imports cigarettes from its factory in Malaysia.

BAT announced last December that it plans to invest $200 million in the Philippines over the next five years, though manufacturing is not part of its approved investment plan.

British American Tobacco manufactures Lucky Strike, Dunhill, Kent, and Pall Mall cigarettes. With giant Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Philippines Corp. enjoying a 93-percent monopoly of the market, BAT had urged the passage of the Sin Tax Law, saying it would help level the playing field for other firms. The sin tax reform measure removes the price freeze used to tax tobacco products under the current system—which benefits older brands such as PMFTC, which are taxed according to 1996 prices, unlike newer brands which are taxed according to their current prices. — BM, GMA News
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