KT&G Corp., South Korea’s major tobacco manufacturer, marked a new milestone in overseas sales last year after expansion in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
According to the company Friday, KT&G sold 48.7 billion cigarettes last year in overseas markets, up 4.7 percent from the previous year. The company set sales record for two years in a row by posting $812 million in sales last year.
KT&G`s success in overseas is attributed to its efforts to explore new markets including Asia, Africa and Latin America beyond its major markets including the Middle East and Russia. Customized butt taste according to different consumer propensity in each market also helped, it said.
KT&G began exports in 1988 and built overseas plants in Turkey in 2008 and later in Iran and Russia. It acquired a tobacco firm in Indonesia in 2011 to expand in the Southeast Asian market.
Last year, the company reshuffled its organization to CIC (Company In Company) system in which finance and HR divisions are run independently. In addition, it expanded and moved its U.S. operation to Dallas.
Esse, its super-slim cigarette, accounted for over a half of the company’s exports. It commands more than a third of the world’s super-slim cigarette markets. The company aims to develop its Raison and Bohem cigarettes as hot as Esse.
By Kim Gyu-sik
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