Price hikes offset sliding sales at cigarette maker Philip Morris

Marion Dakers
CIGARETTE company Philip Morris International has lowered its profit guidance for the year, despite a five per cent rise in third quarter earnings.

The firm said volumes had been falling across the world, with shipments in the three months to the end of September down 5.7 per cent to 223.1bn units.

Shipments in the European Union were down 5.2 per cent and fell 7.8 per cent in Asia, following a tax hike in the Philippines.

The American company said its market share has been maintained despite the fall in volumes.

Net revenues excluding excise taxes were up 0.1 per cent at $7.9bn and earnings rose five per cent to $2.34bn on higher prices.

Diluted earnings per share rose 9.1 per cent on last year to $1.44 per share.

For the full year, PMI now expects earnings of between $5.35 and $5.40, down from previous forecasts of $5.43 to $5.53.

“While the evolution of the macro-economic environment and tax-paid cigarette industry volume remain a challenge, our business fundamentals are solid and we continue to anticipate a strong final quarter,” said chief executive Andre Calantzopoulos in a statement yesterday.