Last May, Jacek Olczak was elected president of Philip Morris International (PMI), taking over from André Calantzopoulos, who was elected back in 2013. In carrying forward his predecessor’s legacy Olczak said that in some countries a smoke-free future may be expected in less than a generation.
He said that the company is perfectly equipped to replace cigarettes with safer alternatives. “We have a globally leading portfolio of both traditional and smoke-free tobacco products, an outstanding management team and are an agile, efficient and fast-learning organisation. We are perfectly equipped to continue to be successful in our vision to replace cigarettes with better alternatives, to the benefit of consumers, shareholders and society at large,” he said as quoted by The Edge earlier this year.
Philip Morris (PM.N) has spent over $8 billion on reduced risk products since it began developing them a decade ago, and approximately 30% of its revenue now comes from such products. To this effect said Olczak recently, the company plans to reach their target of having 50% of their sales from smoke-free products by 2025 through organic revenue growth, rather than mergers and acquisitions.
“The way we look at these targets, we achieved the current 30% organically and I believe we can get to 50% by continuing this organic growth,” Olczak said, adding: “Our $1 billion target of achieving sales from non-nicotine products we can also to a very large extent achieve organically.”
US iQOS sales halted
Meanwhile following a lawsuit by BAT the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that PMI and Altria must stop the sales and imports of their IQOS heated tobacco device across the States. In May 2020, British American Tobacco (BAT) sued PMI in the United States and Germany, alleging that the tobacco heating technology used in PMI’s HnB device IQOS, had infringed its patents.
In October 2021 the ITC ruled in favour of BAT, saying that Philip Morris International and Altria must stop the sale and import of the IQOS device, and since the said deadline passed without any action by the Biden administration, the ban now went into effect. Naturally, Philip Morris is disappointed with the results. “Our contingency plans to return IQOS to the U.S. market are underway,” said the company an emailed statement as quoted by Bloomberg. “The U.S. patent office is also reviewing certain claims of the patents in question with initial rulings expected in 2022, albeit subject to an appeal process.”
Read Further: Reuters