Habanos sales hit US$390 million in 2008, down -3% year-on-year, the company reports – 24/02/09

CUBA. Cuban cigar manufacturer Habanos has reported 2008 sales of US$390 million, down by -3% year-on-year. Vice President Marketing Manuel Garcia said the fall in sales did not hit profitability hard.

He singled out the decline in global travel as a factor in reduced sales, notably at duty free shops, which accounted for 24% of turnover last year.

He also said that anti-smoking legislation had an impact, notably in key markets such as France, Germany and the UAE, while the global economic crisis also hindered growth last year, he added.

“We think this year is going to be very difficult, given that in 2008 we saw a financial crisis and this year we’ll see a consumer crisis,” Garcia told reporters. Despite this, he said he expected the company to maintain sales at 2008 levels.

He also said that recent hurricanes in Cuba had not damaged the harvest and that production would satisfy demand in 2009.



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