MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine tobacco industry is showing signs of recovery in the first three months of the year, Philip Morris International Incorporated (PMI) said.
In its January to March financial report, PMI said the volume of tax-paid cigarettes in the Philippines jumped 26% in the first quarter to 19.3 billion.
"(This is) a favorable comparison with the first quarter of 2013 which was significantly impacted by a disruptive excise tax increase in January and a surge in the prevalence of domestic non-duty paid products," the company said.
Last year, the Philippines implemented the increase in excise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol products.
As of end-March, PMI said PMFTC saw a 19.6% increase in volume to 16.2 billion units. This pegs PMFTC's share in the market to 83.7% in the first quarter, an improvement from the 72.3% share in 4th quarter of 2013 and 79.3% in 2013.
"Marlboro's market share decreased by 2.8 points to 18.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Share of Fortune decreased by 11.4 points to 32.3 percent, more than offset by gains from PMI's other local brands," it noted.
The LT Group, PMI's local partner in PMFTC, said its profit plunged 32% to P8.67 billion in 2013 after cigarette sales and market share fell due to the higher excise taxes.