Imperial Tobacco's UK brands strengthened by pack innovation

Pack innovation

In its primary data for the 12 months ended 30 September, the cigarette maker said that its new slimmer, queen-sized label L&B Profile and new GlideTec packaging – which has a small window on the front of the cigarette pack that enables the user to slide up the inner sleeve with their thumb – served to develop the product mix.

L&B GlideTec

L&B GlideTec cigarette pack

The company said: “Glide-Tec has been a special focus in 2012, this top pack development offers smokers a choice and emphasizes brand distinction.

“Imperial has rapidly scaled this move, strengthening the performance of the company’s essential strategic brands, as well as historical brands – Lambert & Butler and Fortuna.  L&B’s place in the UK has been developed and Fortuna’s increasing share in Spain – and due to these achievements, Imperial is strengthening sales mix.  Altogether, GlideTec’s provided sales of over a billion cigarettes in 13 markets, as well as global duty free.”

Spain

In other places, Imperial Tobacco said that it has taken a £1.2bn writedown on its Spanish market as the economic perspective in the southern Mediterranean country seems to be bad.  The cigarette maker, which occupies the leading position in Spain, said that illicit trade was a growing difficulty in austerity-hit places as smoking people look at buying their cheaper cigarettes from the black market.

The legal cigarette market in Spain has decreased by 10 percent over the last year despite the fact that the economic downturn has provided an increase for sales of fine cut tobacco as more smokers decide on to roll their own cigarettes.

Imperial Tobacco income dropped to £28.6bn from £29bn in 2011 as earnings in some European countries, including Germany and Spain, and as well America, dropped.

Plain packaging

With regards to plain packaging and rules, chief executive Alison Cooper said that the news stream associated with regulating difficulties can also produce a perception of quick alteration – but again the actuality is somewhat completely different; the real improvement of extreme regulation is, on the whole, ineffective.

“For instance, if we examine product display bans. Usually only two countries a year have created bans within the last decade, and the potential improvement of plain packaging is probably to be even slower as the legal obstacles are significantly more complicated to succeed over. “

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