PMI 1st quarter 2009 results..

April 23, 2009 - Philip Morris International(PMI), which makes cigarettes for overseas smokers, said first-quarter profit fell 12% in the first quarter mainly because of the strong dollar. (The stronger dollar has been hurting many companies that have large overseas businesses. Most U.S. companies that sell goods internationally convert those sales from foreign currencies into dollars when they report their financial results. If the dollar strengthens relative to those currencies, revenue in those currencies translates into fewer dollars.)

Hermann Waldemer, PMI's chief financial officer said the company has "not seen any broad-based trends toward consumer downtrading on a global basis."

Sales volume of 203.4 billion cigarettes was unchanged in the quarter. The company recorded increases in Asia, Latin America and Canada but posted declines of 3.7 per cent in Poland and Italy. Volumes for other tobacco products rose 39.4 per cent, with strong growth in France and Poland, the company said.

By brand, shipments of Marlboro, Virginia Slims and L&M cigarettes slipped worldwide, while shipments of Chesterfield and Parliament cigarettes rose. Waldemer said: "We are not particularly perturbed by Marlboro's performance this quarter. As we continue to roll out our new brand architecture for Marlboro across many markets, we indeed remain very optimistic about the future of the brand."

Philip Morris International said it continues to increase prices across a broad range of markets in order to improve profitability. e.g., in Germany will increase prices by 20 euro cents in June 2009.

Philip Morris International is pursuing sales of smokeless tobacco products to replace the revenue the company expects to lose as cigarette demand continues falling. In 2008, the company held an estimated 15.6% share of the total international cigarette market outside of the U.S. and seven of the world’s top 15 brands.

Reference: Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) Reports 2009 First-Quarter Results, Yahoo Finance, 4/23/2009;
Philip Morris Int'l first-quarter profit drops 12 per cent
, Michael Felberbaum, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, 4/23/2009; Strong Dollar Crimps Philip Morris Earnings, The, 4/23/2009; Philip Morris International, Inc., Q1 2009 Earnings Call Transcript, Seeking Alpha, April 23, 2009.