Egypt's cigarette monopoly Eastern reports fiscal H1 net earnings of US$53.3M, down 9% from year-ago period amid weak production and sales in fiscal Q1

EGYPT , February 17, 2014 () – Egypt's cigarette monopoly Eastern Company posted a net profit of LE371.5 million ($53.3 million) during the first half of the 2013/14 fiscal year, down 9 percent from the same period a fiscal year earlier, the stock exchange reported on Sunday. According to the Egyptian bourse website, the tobacco company registered LE408.7 million ($58.7 million) in the period between July and December in 2012/13 fiscal year. Abdel-Rahman Eissa, deputy to the company's financial department, attributes the drop in profits to the weak production and sales in the first quarter (July-September) of 2013/14, when the local cigarette manufacturer saw LE96 million ($13.7 million) in net income due to the political turmoil following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. In August, Egypt's interim cabinet reintroduced a state of emergency and a nightly curfew in an attempt to halt the bloody clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces after the latter dispersed two major Islamist sit-ins in Cairo and Giza. At the time, Mohamed Otham, marketing head at Eastern Company, told Ahram Online that the turmoil had an "indirect impact" on its cigarette sales, with losses worth some LE5 to 8 million per day.

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