Menthol variants on key brands like Marlboro helping to boost Philip Morris sales, particularly in Asia, CFO Hermann Waldemer says

NEW YORK , July 21, 2011 () – The world's biggest nongovernment cigarette maker, Philip Morris International Inc., has used variations on its key brands like Marlboro to help boost sales as smokers around the world face tax hikes, bans, health concerns and social stigma.

The new products from Philip Morris International, which sells Marlboro and other brands overseas, include Marlboro Red, with a focus on rich flavor; Marlboro Gold, about "exploring new dimensions in smoking"; and Marlboro Fresh, a line of menthols. It also has accompanied these with new package designs.

The company, which has offices in New York and in Lausanne, Switzerland, said shipments of premium Marlboro grew less than one percent to 78.1 billion cigarettes in the second quarter, with growth in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The brand also saw market share gains.

In a conference call with analysts Thursday regarding second-quarter earnings, CFO Hermann Waldemer discussed the Marlboro brand.

QUESTION: Can you provide an update on any new initiatives on the brand such as line extensions or packaging styles?

RESPONSE (CFO Waldemer): There are many, many activities within the new Marlboro architecture. ... There many more possibilities to continue the successful rollout ... and the positive trends in many, many markets are a testament to this. Terrific success on several of the menthol variants in particular in Asia are probably a highlight in that context.

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