January 30, 2011 - Japan Tobacco Inc’s (JT) domestic cigarette volumes during the three months to the end of December (October-December , at 20.3 billion, were down by 47.7 percent on those of the three months to the end of December 2009.
Volume sales for the nine months to the end of December (April-December), meanwhile, were down by 9.0 percent to 106.8 billion.
The Japanese cigarette market was thrown into chaos last year in the run-up to an unprecedented tax increase on October 1, which, together with a manufacturer’s increase by JT, raised the retail prices of some brands by 40 per cent. Japan - October 1, 2010 - tobacco tax increase, govt aims to discourage smoking..)
In September 2010, total market cigarette sales, at 37.4 billion, were up by 88 percent on those of September 2009, due to a last-minute rush ahead of the excise increase. (Japan - smokers stocking up on cigarettes before October 1st tax hike..)
But sales were said to be down by 70 percent in October and one estimate had it that sales this year could be down by 17 percent to 180 billion.
The value of JT’s domestic cigarette sales during the three months (October-December) to the end of December, at ¥413.3 billion, was down by 28.5 percent on that of the three months (October-December) to the end of 2009. Comparing the nine months periods (April-December), the value of JT’s sales was down by 2.7 percent to ¥1,701.9 billion. (1 USD = 82.09 Japan yen)
JT reported, too, that its market share during the nine months to the end of December, at 64.4 percent, was down from 64.9 per cent during the April-December period of 2009.
JT’s consolidated financial results for the nine months to the end of December 2010 are due to be announced on February 7, 2011.
Reference: Post tax-hike sales almost halve at JT, Tobacco Reporter, 1/28/2011; Japanese Domestic Tobacco Sales Results for April-December 2010, Japan Tobacco, Inc., 1/28/2011.
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