BAT Korea Focuses on Promoting Its Heated Tobacco Product on Its 30th AnniversaryACTA
Speaking at a press event held in central Seoul for the firm’s 30th anniversary, BAT Korea’s country manager Kim Eun-ji, focused on promoting their heated tobacco product: Glo.
The slogan of the BAT Group, ‘A better tomorrow,’ represents [the company’s ambition] to create a better future by reducing the harm our business imposes [on people’s health] through satisfying and less damaging products,” said Kim. She added that this vision will have a positive impact in multiple ways. “….it will become a company that can positively affect not just the industry, but also consumers, society and employees while realizing this vision.”
The company’s head of legal and external affairs Yoon Suk-bae, said that BAT is hoping that the local government “applies differentiated and reasonable regulations on e-cigarette products based on science,” whilst referring to the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the marketing of HTPs as modified risk tobacco products.
Kim admitted that while the company’s performance has not been its best in recent years, things are looking up. “It’s true BAT’s performance hasn’t reached expectations over the past several years. But our market share has grown from 11.97 percent in late 2019 to 12.19 percent as of this month.”
BAT Sues PMI
Meanwhile back in the US, BAT has recently filed two patent infringement claims against its main competitor Philip Morris International Inc (PMI), one via the International Trade Commission (ITC) and one in the Virginia federal court. The tobacco company claims it is seeking compensation for the damages caused and an injunction on importing the product.
Both the lawsuits in Germany and the US, are based on the accusation that the heating blade technology used in IQOS, is an earlier version of the technology currently being used in BAT’s glo tobacco heating devices. BAT had planned to launch its glo range in Germany this year, and PMI started selling IQOS in the US in 2019, with the latter being the only HnB device approved for sale in the country.
IQOS Market Share Increases as Other HnBs Struggle
In 2019, PMI posted a 44.2% increase in iQOS shipments, to 59.7bn units, with a 40.7% rise to 17.1bn units in the last quarter of the year.
Excluding the US, the tobacco giant has witnessed a market share increase in IQOS markets by 1.4 percentage points to 5%. At the end of 2019, it was calculated that there were a total of 13.6m IQOS users, of whom 9.7m were former smokers who had switched to the device.
British American Tobacco PLC said Friday that the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office has closed an investigation of suspicions of corruption in the conduct of business by the company, its subsidiaries and associated persons.
The FTSE 100-listed cigarette maker, which houses the Kent, Dunhill and Lucky Strike brands, said the SFO is taking no further action in respect of this matter. The probe was disclosed in August 2017, the company said.