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Philip Morris slashes superslim cigarette prices

Philip Morris International Korea said Thursday it plans to lower the prices of its Virginia Slims brand by almost 14 percent to better compete with other superslim cigarettes.

Starting April 23, the Virginia Slims will be sold at 2,500 won ($2.20) a pack, down from the current 2,900 won, the Korean unit of the U.S. tobacco giant said.

The Esse, the top-selling ultraslim cigarettes by KT&G Corp., also has the same price tag. Its 17 varieties together control about 80 percent in the segment here or 25 percent in the overall tobacco market.

In March, British American Tobacco Korea also brought down the prices of Vogue to 2,500 won per pack from 2,700 won.

“The unprecedented price cut reflects our strategy to have a head-to-head battle with Esse, which virtually monopolizes the superslim category,” PMI said in a statement.

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)
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