Philip Morris releases clarification about increased prices on specific cigarettes.
In relation to recent media reports about steep price increases at retail for Philip Morris Georgia LLC products, including MARLBORO and PARLIAMENT, Philip Morris Georgia would like to clarify that it has not made any increase to its prices to the trade since August 2015. Consequently, Philip Morris Georgia agrees with the statement released by the Ministry of Finance that the recent price increases of Philip Morris Georgia’s products are not related to the January 1 excise tax increase. The consumer prices are set by retailers and Philip Morris Georgia had no role in the recent price increases.
We regret that adult consumers of our brands are temporarily affected by the current situation and that our retail trade partners face out-of-stock situations.
The reason for the shortage of supply is a recent distribution disruption caused by an ongoing legal dispute, that we hope will shortly be resolved.
Philip Morris International, the number one international cigarette company worldwide, which has in its portfolio leading tobacco brands such as MARLBORO, PARLIAMENT, L&M, CHESTERFIELD, and BOND STREET, has been present in Georgia since 1996. Philip Morris Georgia has offices in Tbilisi and employs more than 40 people. Thousands of other individuals are involved in the distribution and sales of our products to adult consumers, and we have contractual relationships and partnerships with hundreds of retailers and suppliers. In 2015, Philip Morris Georgia’s market share as reported by GAMMA Research was 23%. We are proud to be one of the major contributors to the state budget, to which we paid more than 85 million GEL in taxes and duties in 2015.
We remain committed to further contribute to the development of the Georgian economy