NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Philip Morris International Inc. ("PMI") (NYSE / Euronext Paris:PM)
today announced an investment of up to €500 million into its first
manufacturing facility in the European Union and an associated pilot
plant near Bologna, Italy to produce its potentially reduced-risk
tobacco products. Once fully operational, the factory and pilot plant
combined annual production capacity is expected to reach up to 30
billion units by 2016.
"The development and commercialization of reduced-risk products
represents a significant step toward achieving the public health
objective of harm reduction, a potential paradigm shift for the
industry, and an important growth opportunity for PMI. This first
factory investment is a milestone in our roadmap toward making these
products available to adult smokers," said André Calantzopoulos,
PMI's Chief Executive Officer. "This investment underscores our
strong commitment to Italy and in particular to the Bologna region which
is not only home to our state-of-the-art filter factory, Intertaba,
located in Zola Predosa, but also offers great infrastructure and, most
importantly, access to exceptional human talent."
Construction on the new facility is expected to begin immediately and
last approximately two years. Once fully operational it will employ up
to 600 people. The pilot plant is already near completion and will serve
as the production facility for pilot and initial market launches.
Importantly, the majority of the construction and manufacturing
equipment will be procured from Italian companies and further benefit
the country's economy.
PMI's investment in the development and rigorous scientific assessment
of products with the potential to reduce the risks of smoking spans more
than a decade. It encompasses a wide-range of tobacco and non-tobacco
containing product platforms. In November 2013 PMI announced its plans
to accelerate commercialization of one of its potentially reduced-risk
products in the second half of 2014 in selected cities, prior to a full
market launch in 2015. Specific markets for product launches will be
announced at a later date.
Separately, PMI in December 2013 established a strategic framework with
Altria Group, Inc. ("Altria") under which Altria will make available its
e-cigarette products exclusively to PMI for commercialization outside
the United States. PMI plans to enter the e-cigarette market in the
second half of 2014.
Philip Morris International Inc.
Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is the leading international
tobacco company, with seven of the world's top 15 international brands,
including Marlborooutside the U.S., the number one cigarette
brand worldwide. PMI's products are sold in more than 180 markets. In
2012, the company held an estimated 16.3% share of the total
international cigarette market outside of the U.S., or 28.8% excluding
the People's Republic of China and the U.S. For more information, see www.pmi.com.
Source: Philip Morris International