About Itg Brands, LLC

The UK's #1 cigarette maker, Imperial Brands eyes an even larger throne. The group has lavished billions on brand-building acquisitions -- including Spain's Altadis (2008), Commonwealth Brands in the US (2007), and Germany's Reemtsma (Davidoff and West cigarettes, 2002) -- to extend its reign across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia/Pacific region, and North America. In addition to Davidoff, major brands include Gauloises, JPS, Rizla, KOOL, Salem, blu e-Cigs, Montecristo cigars, and Skruf snus. Imperial Brands operates some 50 cigarette and tobacco product and processing plants worldwide, as well as a logistics business. Products are sold in 160-plus countries; emerging markets account for 60% of cigarettes sold.

Operations

Imperial Brands manages two businesses: Tobacco and Logistics.

The Tobacco business conducts the manufacture, marketing, and sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products, which it subdivides into four product positions: Growth Markets, Returns Markets North, Returns Market South, and USA. The two Returns Markets include Australia and markets in the EU, Eastern Europe, and Africa and together account for around 55% of Tobacco revenue. The Returns Markets are markets where Imperials has an established presence on which it is seeking higher returns.

Growth Markets consists of countries that offer scope for growth, including the US which counts as a standalone Growth Market, and brings in the remaining more than 40% of Tobacco sales.

It also divides its most important brands into two groups: Growth Brands and Specialist Brands. Growth Brands are quality brands with broad appeal and generate an increasing amount of volume and revenue. These include Davidoff, Gauloises Blondes, JPS, West, and Fine, among others. Specialist Brands appeal to specific consumer niches and include blu e-cigarettes, Style, Gitanes, Kool, Rizla, and Skruf.

The Logistics business generates around a quarter of revenue and distributes tobacco products for its own tobacco business, as well as for third parties.

Geographic Reach

Imperial Brands has more than 50 manufacturing sites and operates in 160 countries worldwide. Imperial's home market of the UK accounts for more than 15% of its total revenue. Germany, France, and the US generate more than 10% each.

Financial Performance

Note: Growth rates may differ after conversion to US Dollars.

In fiscal 2016, Imperial Brands increased its revenue 9% to £27.6 billion. Nearly all the growth was concentrated in the US market due to the acquisition of various brands belonging to Reynolds American, as stipulated by the terms of the latter's takeover by British American Tobacco. Sales to Growth Markets (excluding the US) increased by £119 million and Returns Market North by £205 million.

Net income fell 63% to £631 million due to an increase in net finance costs due to the impact of acquisition related costs, particularly fair value and exchange losses on financial instruments.

Cash from operations increased 15% to £3.2 billion due to higher net income and changes in depreciation, amortization, and impairment costs.

Strategy

In 2017 Imperial Brands kicked off an investment and cost-cutting initiative. It will invest £300 million in its Growth and Specialist brands in areas where it has a track record for revenue growth. The company also has £750 million earmarked for cost-saving initiatives with the goal of saving £300 million in operating expenses each year until 2020. Part of this involves the sale of a number of weaker brands, as well as the introduction of a single global HR platform. The company is also tightening its capital discipline, and succeeded in reducing its net debt by £1.0 billion in 2016, on top of the £1.1 billion reduction in 2015.

Imperial took control of the blu e-cigarette brand after American Reynolds was required to divest it (along with a number of other brands) following its takeover by British American Tobacco. Imperial immediately became a major player in the fast-growing e-cigarette market, with particular strength in the UK and the US and a growing presence in France and Italy.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2015, Imperial Brands' US subsidiary ITG Brands acquired a number of cigarette and non-cigarette brands from Reynolds American for around $7.2 billion. It acquired the cigarette brands Winston, Salem, Kool and Maverick, as well as the e-cigarette brand blu.

In 2016, subsidiary Tabacalera USA acquired Serious Cigars, a Houston, Texas-maker of cigars.

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Itg Brands, LLC

714 Green Valley Rd
Greensboro, NC 27408-7018
Phone: 1 (336) 335-7000
Fax: 1 (336) 335-6917

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Director, Quality Assurance Management: Sam Eich
  • Senior Vice President Cco: Neil L Wilcox
  • Employees: 2,900

Major Office Locations

  • Greensboro, NC