Bulgaria - Bulgartabac Holding sales jumped by 15-20 percent..

June 4, 2010 - The sales jump during the past two weeks was because of a special police operation aimed at fighting contraband (illegal, illicit, smuggled). Bulgaria - recent article fighting contraband cigarettes: Bulgarian Police 'Cigarettes' Special Ops Hits Contraband Jackpot, June 4, 2010.

Vanio Tanov..
The company was defending its position at an emergency press conference following statements made by the Director of the country’s Customs Agency, Vanio Tanov, who, in an interview for the daily newspaper, Standart, said Bulgartabac was trying to privatize for “next to nothing”.

Bulgaria - Bulgartabac buyer may be chosen by end of year..

said the worst thing a high-ranking state employee could do was to insinuate that the company was near bankruptcy at a time when consultants were trying to seal a privatization deal. And he suggested that similar negative comments in the past had resulted in Bulgartabac’s failure to find a buyer during 15 years of trying.

Ivan Bilarev..

Meanwhile, CEO, Ivan Bilarev, said Bulgartabac Holding was not threatened by insolvency, and, to the contrary, its position was constantly improving. Bilarev said Bulgartabac planned to invest BGN33 million (22.2 USD) this year in new production lines, and was currently working three shifts at its cigarette factories and still failing to satisfy demand.

In April, the legal cigarette market is estimated at 860 tons, while one year earlier it has been 1 400 tons. “Bulgartabac” holds 36% of the market now compared to over 50% around the same time last year, according to company's data. Nevertheless, the company’s own data indicate that it now accounts for about 36 percent of the Bulgarian market, down from around 50 percent a year ago.

“If the cabinet cuts contraband at least half, we can sell up to an additional 150 000 tons of cigarettes a month,” the [Bulgartabac] Holding's management says.

Reference: Bulgarian Customs, Tobacco Monopoly Tangled in War of Words, Novinite.com, 6/3/2010.

Bulgartabac related news briefs:
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac buyer may be chosen by end of year..;
Bulgaria - Citigroup chosen as consultant for sale of Bulgartabac..;
Bulgaria - sale of Bulgartabac coming - selection of a consultant..;
Bulgaria - sale of Bulgartabac coming - selection of a consultant..;
Bulgaria - tobacco producers propose Bulgartabac transfer..;
Bulgaria - start of steps leading to the privatization of the state-owned cigarette monopoly Bulgartabac..;
Bulgaria - Bulgartabac Holding” will be privatized in 2010..;
Bulgartabac Chief - cigarette tax increase as of January 1, 2010..;
Bulgaria Bulgartabac Holding Sells 23% of Shares to Mutual Funds..;
Bulgaria - new government to speed-up Bulgartabac sale..;
Does Russia own Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly, Bulgartabac..;