Last year Armenian government approved several regulations to control local tobacco market and major tobacco companies. Regional senior manager of Philip Morris International, the leading tobacco group in Armenia, Sargis Tsaghikyan stated that the tobacco giant is set to show another great performance capturing more market share in 2011.
Mr. Tsaghikyan said that Philip Morris Armenia offers solid and balanced brand portfolio in the local market, and is presented in all price categories, keeping in touch with all adult costumers’ needs. This makes the company believe that its business performance will be successful and the market share will continue to grow.
According to PMI Armenia is an emerging and very competitive market. And the Marlboro-maker has a 19.5 percent share of that market, the biggest among its major rivals.
In 2010 Philip Morris International offered the following brands to the Armenian smokers: Marlboro, L&M, Parliament, Chesterfield, Virginia Slims, Bond Street, Muratti Ambassador, Red&White and Assos Slims. L&M is the best-selling brand among PMI brands.
Last October, Armenian president signed into law amended Excise Tax Law and Tobacco Products Tax Law under which the tax rate difference among imported and locally manufactured tobacco products will be gradually reduced starting from Jan 1st 2011, therefore introducing equal approach to local and imported cigarettes. Philip Morris International welcomed these tax code amendments, as they are implemented in established time and prompt Armenian Tobacco Products Taxation equaling with World Trade Organization requirements.
Armenia adopted a universal and thorough legislative base to regulate tobacco industry and according to Philip Morris Armenia senior manager, the company is willing to cooperate with the government and public health authorities to establish norms and regulations for the domestic tobacco industry. The company believes it is vital that regulatory base is comprehensive, justified by evidence and covering all tobacco companies and products and that enforcement is adequate and even. These regulations could allow the authorities reach the public health objectives.
Philip Morris International is the largest international tobacco group in the world, selling its products in more than 160 markets. In 2009 the company had an approximately 15.4 percent share of global cigarette market excluding the United States, or 26 percent, excluding China and the USA.
On its official website, PMI states that smoking can cause addiction and severe health complications and recognizes that there is no safe form of tobacco consumption. The company supports strict and effective measure to regulate tobacco, and agrees that cessation should be the major aim of public health policies. At the same time Philip Morris International doesn’t target non-smokers and minors, and their marketing strategies are intended to adult smokers and set to encourage them top prefer PMI’s brands in favor of competitors’ products.