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Mar 23, 2015

When it comes to e-cigs, Big Tobacco is concerned for your health

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – The health warning on a MarkTen
electronic cigarette package is 116 words long.

That’s much longer than the warnings on traditional
cigarette packs in the United States. Nicotine, the e-cigarette
warning says, is “addictive and habit-forming, and it is very
toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed.”
It is not intended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding,
or people … who take medicine for depression or asthma.
“Nicotine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and
cause dizziness, nausea and stomach pain,” says MarkTen, a
leading brand in the United States. The ingredients can be
“poisonous.”

Mar 13, 2015

Weak euro to help European companies, force U.S. rivals to adapt

LONDON (Reuters) – The euro’s slide toward parity with the dollar will provide a much-needed boost for European companies this year and force U.S. rivals to adapt their businesses or risk losing market share.

While currency hedging arrangements mean the benefits may not be seen straight away, the currency’s weakness has already cheered European chief executives by making their products cheaper overseas and lifting the value of dollar-based sales.

Mar 11, 2015

UK votes to ban cigarette pack branding, industry threatens legal action

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – Britain’s parliament approved
legislation on Wednesday to ban branding on cigarette packs,
drawing immediate threats of legal action from the country’s $29
billion tobacco industry.

Aimed at improving public health and cutting the number of
child smokers, the measure is likely to crimp tobacco company
profits and emulates Australia, which in 2012 enacted a law
forcing cigarettes to be sold in plain olive green packaging
with images showing the damaging effects of smoking.

Mar 11, 2015

Swiss makers quietly gear up with smartwatches of their own

LONDON/FRANKFURT, March 11 (Reuters) – To observers of the
secretive Swiss watch industry, its quiet, seemingly passive
response to Apple Inc’s plan to attack their
centuries-old business could be mistaken for submission before
an overwhelming adversary.

But luxury and fashion groups Richemont, LVMH
, Swatch Group and Guess Inc have been
busy in the past year tinkering with smartwatches of their own,
while aiming to preserve their products’ more timeless appeal.

Mar 6, 2015

Wine is great for drinking, not investing, says top critic

LONDON (Reuters) – Splashing out on pricey wine is great if you plan to drink it down the road, says Robert Parker, the world’s most famous wine critic, but not as a financial investment.

Parker, credited with popularizing the 100-point system widely used to rate wine, says wine can be lucrative, but only if investors are willing to sit on inventory for as long as a decade, which can be tough.

Mar 2, 2015

Advent plans sale of Partner in Pet Food: sources

LONDON (Reuters) – Partner in Pet Food (PPF), a European pet food maker, has been put up for sale by private equity firm Advent International, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The move by Advent is the latest in a string of deals in a growing and increasingly lucrative pet care industry.

Feb 27, 2015

Insight – Italian e-cigarette firms say new tax benefits tobacco

LONDON (Reuters) – Electronic cigarette firms in Italy say a new levy that doubles the price of e-liquid refills unfairly helps tobacco giants like Philip Morris International and will hurt their industry.

The tax, which was adopted in January, is set at half the rate of that on traditional cigarettes. The controversy centres on the fact that the lower rate is applied to both electronic cigarettes and to tobacco products such as Marlboro HeatSticks, which Philip Morris is launching in Italy alongside a 500 million euro (369 million pounds) factory investment.

Feb 27, 2015

Italian e-cigarette firms say new tax benefits tobacco

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Electronic cigarette firms in
Italy say a new levy that doubles the price of e-liquid refills
unfairly helps tobacco giants like Philip Morris International
and will hurt their industry.

The tax, which was adopted in January, is set at half the
rate of that on traditional cigarettes. The controversy centres
on the fact that the lower rate is applied to both electronic
cigarettes and to tobacco products such as Marlboro HeatSticks,
which Philip Morris is launching in Italy alongside a 500
million euro ($568 million) factory investment.

Feb 26, 2015

British American Tobacco sales fall less than expected

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – British American Tobacco
, the world’s second-biggest tobacco company, reported
slightly better than expected sales for 2014, gaining share in a
market shrinking as more smokers stub out the habit.

The company, with operations in over 200 countries, was hit
hard by the strong British pound and said that impact would
continue this year, especially as some currency hedges expire.

Feb 25, 2015

Health-conscious Chinese challenge Western food firms

LONDON/SHANGHAI, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Chen Chen, a 27-year-old
financial analyst in Shanghai, has cut back on bottled milky tea
in favour of fresh-squeezed juices. Like more and more of her
compatriots, she wants to consume more natural ingredients and
less fat and salt.

“Health is a key factor,” she said.

Chinese consumers like Chen are making new demands of
international food brands, posing challenges for Western firms
already grappling with slower sales and intense competition in
the world’s most populous nation.