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April, 2010


BAT teams with ABM to fight illicit trade
Nottingham - British American Tobacco (BAT), has teamed up with intelligence, investigation, and criminal justice software solutions specialist, ABM, a five year contract for the provision of Intellicase and ABMpegasus™ Source Management to help BAT manage business and operational challenges ranging from investigation and case management to intelligence gathering and organizational reporting.

BAT’s AIT intelligence manager for Europe, Brendan Saritschniy, explains: “Counterfeiting and smuggling are ever present issues facing not just the tobacco industry, but other luxury branded products too. High levels of taxation policies on tobacco products make this a growing and attractive market for criminals seeking a quick profit; it is a growing global problem.

Managing director of ABM, Alastair Luff, explains: “Having distilled over 15 years extensive experience of secure intelligence systems for UK law enforcement, the total solution will help BAT transform information into valuable intelligence. This will give BAT a better understanding of trends and patterns in order to support its range of Anti-Illicit Trade measures - and all in an effective and compliant way. Implementation is set to begin this month and ABM will be working in close partnership with BAT to configure the solutions to meet BAT’s exact needs throughout the first quarter of 2010.”

Hauni acquires Sodim SAS
Hamburg - German-based Hauni Maschinenbau AG acquires Sodim SAS from Imperial Tobacco Group PLC. With the acquisition of Sodim, Hauni Maschinenbau AG extends its product portfolio to include Metrology and Measurement Systems for the tobacco industry, which means that, in addition to existing online systems, the company can now also offer offline measuring and analysis instruments for the cigarette and filter maker sector.

Sodim has been integrated into Hauni Maschinenbau AG with immediate effect and will be marketed under the Hauni logo. The company will remain a legal entity. Mr. Eric Favre will also stay on as managing director of Sodim. The customer contacts at Sodim will also remain the same. They will continue to be responsible for processing business, including service.

ITC: price increases inevitable
Kolkatta - ITC Ltd recently said that hike in cigarette prices was inevitable due to imposition of excise duty on tobacco set for 2010 - 11, according to ITC spokesperson Najeeb Arif. While the effective rates of taxation on cigarettes were 190%, the new national budget had imposed another 17% excise duty hike.

Philip Morris Norway challenges display ban
Oslo - Philip Morris Norway AS (PMN) announced in early March that it will start legal proceedings to overturn the ban on displaying tobacco products in retail stores.

“Display bans have had no impact on reducing smoking in the countries that have implemented them, a fact acknowledged by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services. Instead these regulations prevent adult consumers from seeing the available product range and overly restrict competition” said Anne Edwards, spokesperson for PMN. “We have raised these issues with the government to no avail, which has regrettably left us with no choice but to litigate.”

The goal of the lawsuit is to overturn the display ban to permit retailers to display tobacco products in their stores enabling adult smokers to see the products on offer. PMN is not seeking any other changes to tobacco-related laws in Norway.

Amcor Tobacco changes name
Rickenbach - According to a PR statement from the company, Amcor Rentsch Rickenbach Ltd. has changed its name to Amcor Tobacco Packaging Switzerland LLC. The name change is related to company’s recent acquisition of parts of the Alcan Packaging group.

Manufactures sees earnings rise along with hope
London - BAT, the world’s second-biggest cigarette maker, reported signs global economies were improving, as it recently reported that it had met forecasts with a 19% rise in 2009 earnings.

BAT gained a boost from price rises, acquisitions, and the weak pound which offset falling underlying volumes and downtrading to cheaper cigarettes. Group underlying cigarette volumes fell 3% in 2009 hit by deteriorating economies, and were set to fall a further 1.5 to 2% in 2010, but sales of its more expensive key cigarette brands were up 4% last year.

Earlier this month, Philip Morris beat forecasts with its fourth-quarter earnings as price rises and emerging market growth from the Marlboro-making group offset cigarette volume falls in the European Union.

Tobacco International - April, 2010

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