PMI tops Austrian tobacco sale chart

Philip Morris International (PMI) is the new number one on the Austrian tobacco products market, as figures presented today (Fri) show.Research group AC Nielsen said the American company held a 35.5 per cent share in Austria, while 34.5 per cent of cigarettes sold in the country in 2010 were products of Japan Tobacco International (JTI). The firm, which manages Austrian tobacco maker Austria Tabak, was market leader for some years before PMI became number one in 2010.A spokesman for JTI argued that the developments had to do with the firm’s decision to raise the price for its whole product portfolio by 20 per cent per packet at the beginning of this year, while rivals either carried out none, or just less significant increases.Imperial Tobacco Group, a British company, had a market share of 17.5 per cent in Austria in 2010, up from 16.6 per cent in the year before.PMI’s Marlboro was the most popular sort among Austrian smokers with a share of 23 per cent last year (2009: 24.5 per cent).The average price for one packet of cigarettes sold in Austria rose by 20 Eurocents year on year last month as companies reacted to the government’s decision to increase the tax on tobacco products.The coalition of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) said last year it was confident that revenue from taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products will rise by 100 million Euros this year compared to 2010.Leading cigarette producers said they will implement a further price increase of five to 10 Eurocents in the second half of this year.Around 17 per cent of all cigarettes consumed in Austria were smuggled into the country to be sold at bargain prices on the black market, according to a survey. More than 46 million illegal cigarettes were confiscated in Austria in 2009.Eurobarometer, the statistic agency of the European Commission (EC), found that Austrian smokers’ daily dose is an average 18 cigarettes. Eurobarometer pointed out that the average smoker in the European Union (EU) needed 14 cigarettes a day.Around 27 per cent of Austrian men and 41 per cent of women living in the country smoke on a regular basis.