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KT&G’s exports exceed sales at home

KT&G Corp., the country’s largest tobacco-maker by market share, said Monday that its annual overseas cigarette sales surpassed its domestic sales for the first time last year, largely owing to strong sales in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific.

Packs of ESSE, KT&G’s best-selling cigarette brand in the Middle East, are displayed in a shop in Iran. (KT&G)
Packs of ESSE, KT&G’s best-selling cigarette brand in the Middle East, are displayed in a shop in Iran. (KT&G)


According to KT&G’s annual sales report for 2015, the Korean manufacturer sold 46.5 billion sticks of cigarettes outside Korea, either manufactured here for export or through the company’s overseas units. During the same period, the Korean tobacco-maker’s domestic sales stood at 40.6 billion sticks.

Among the overseas markets, the Middle East took up the largest share with 48.8 percent in 2015, followed by the Asia-Pacific with 25.4 percent, Latin America and Europe with a combined 14.2 percent and the Commonwealth of Independent States and Central Asia with a combined 11.5 percent.

By brand, KT&G’s ESSE constituted 55.5 percent of the total overseas sales, followed by PINE with 29.2 percent and TIME with 5.3 percent.

KT&G, now the world’s fifth-largest tobacco-marker, attributed its fast-growing overseas performance to the company’s successful inroad to the emerging markets, expansion of overseas production facilities and its employees’ eagerness for global challenge.

KT&G staffers consult buyers at InterTabac, the world’s leading trade fair for tobacco products and smoking accessories, in Dortmund, Germany. (KT&G)
KT&G staffers consult buyers at InterTabac, the world’s leading trade fair for tobacco products and smoking accessories, in Dortmund, Germany. (KT&G)


By Chung Joo-won (joowonc@heraldcorp.com)

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