Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Taxes up, cigarette shipments down
Reynolds American posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as its Camel and Pall Mall cigarettes increased market share. But the company said it shipped 21.6 billion cigarettes in the fourth quarter — down 6.3 percent from a year earlier.
Reynolds, like other cigarette manufacturers, could face a difficult 2009. Not only has the recession crimped consumers’ ability to spend, but smokers will feel even more price pressure now that a 61-cent increase in the federal tax on a pack of cigarettes has been passed.
Reynolds CEO Susan Ivey told analysts that the increase in the federal tax will hurt industry volume and she also said some state tax increases will likely be passed, even though Reynolds will fight them.
Also in the basket: