In 2020, Imperial’s NGP sales fell 27%, prompting a 124 million pound ($170 million) writedown on the business. To offset this loss, the company is increasing its tobacco market share in its top five markets with gains in the United States, UK and Spain, and declines in Germany and Australia.
Imperial will also target tobacco-heating products in Europe and e-cigarettes in the United States, moving away from its previous one-size-fits-all approach. In the first half it expects group net revenue to grow by at least 1% on an organic, constant currency basis, due to higher tobacco prices and higher next-generation product (NGP) revenue growth.
Earlier this year, the maker of Gauloises and West cigarettes had readjusted its full-year revenue forecast as consumers were spending more on cigarettes as a result of the pandemic.
Smoking rates have risen due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Of course, this was not surprising and are precisely why countless public health experts had argued that closing vape shops whilst leaving regular cigarettes available for sale, would spell disaster. A UK paper published on BJGP Open had in fact warned that the outbreak of COVID-19 risked increasing smoking rates amongst current and former smokers.
Meanwhile, British American Tobacco (BAT) said it will be investigating more substantially in NGPs after seeing three million more customers use its vape, tobacco heating and oral nicotine products, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Read Further: Reuters