Business news from Ukraine

PHILIP MORRIS UKRAINE, BAT, JTI AND IMPERIAL TOBACCO IN UKRAINE MULLING CLOSURE OF FACTORIES OVER REGULATION OF MARKUP

Philip Morris Ukraine, British American Tobacco, JTI and Imperial Tobacco in Ukraine are mulling the possibility of decreasing production and later closing the tobacco factories on the territory of Ukraine over the adoption of the legislative requirement on the government regulation of markup on their goods by the Verkhovna Rada.
“The fact of adoption of this bill will have serious consequences for the industry. This is the absence of a transition period and implementation mechanisms. In the near future, this will expose our business to risks. We will be forced to consider the issue of producing our goods at other factories, since we do not even fully understand how to execute this bill,” Director of British American Tobacco Ukraine Simon Welford said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday.
He said that bill 1049, passed at second reading, introducing a single account for paying taxes and duties, the single social security contribution, sets a fixed markup for wholesale and retail traders of tobacco products at 7% and 13% of the maximum retail price per package.
General Manager of Imperial Tobacco in Ukraine Rastislav Cernak said that these legislative initiatives could entail an increase in the volume of illegal trade in tobacco products from 8.4% to 20%. At the same time, he said that over the past three years, the volume of the “shadow” tobacco market has grown by about seven times and this annually cost UAH 5 billion the national budget.
At the same time, Cernak predicted a 25% reduction in cigarette production. “Such a 25% drop, according to our estimates, will cost the national budget about UAH 7 billion. Therefore, we urge the Verkhovna Rada to revise bill No. 1049 and remove the amendment that establishes the regulation of the markup. We request that transparent lawmaking in Ukraine along with an open dialogue with major investors start working, as such significant changes in taxation force us to rethink our business in Ukraine,” he said.

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PHILIP MORRIS UKRAINE SEES 3.4-FOLD RISE IN NET PROFIT IN 2018

Private joint-stock company Philip Morris Ukraine, a large tobacco company in Ukraine, saw a 3.4-fold rise in net profit in 2018 compared with 2017, to UAH 2.147 billion.
According to a company report in the information disclosure system of the National Commission for Securities and the Stock Market on holding the general meeting of shareholders on April 26, its assets last year grew by 5.7%, to UAH 10.51 billion.
The retained earnings soared eightfold, to UAH 2.374 billion. Total receivables grew by 10.4%, to UAH 7.475 billion.
The company plans to leave profit for 2018 in the company until the shareholders made a decision to pay dividends.
As reported, Philip Morris International Inc. cut shipments of cigarettes in Ukraine by 8.8% in 2018.
Philip Morris International is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tobacco products. It produces cigarettes in more than 50 factories, sells them in 180 countries.
In Ukraine, it has been working for more than 20 years. Its production facilities are based in Kharkiv region.

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PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL REDUCES CIGARETTE SHIPMENTS IN UKRAINE BY 8.8% IN 2018

Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) Tobacco Company in 2018 reduced cigarette shipments in Ukraine by 8.8% from due to a decline in the overall market, which was partially offset by an increase in the total market share of heated tobacco products. The total volume of the cigarette market in Ukraine in 2018 decreased by 8.1% mainly due to an impact of rising prices and an increase in illegal trade, PMI said in an annual report. According to the company, the total volume of the cigarette market in Ukraine decreased by 8.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018 alone. Shipments of PMI cigarettes in October-December decreased by 10.4%.
Philip Morris International is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tobacco products. It produces cigarettes in more than 50 factories, sells them in 180 countries.
In Ukraine, it has been working for more than 20 years. Its production facilities are based in Kharkiv region.

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CABINET OF MINISTERS APPROVES AGREEMENT BETWEEN PHILIP MORRIS AND UKRAINE

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved a draft amicable agreement between Philip Morris and Ukraine, foreseeing the abolishment of the tax notification for the amount of UAH 635.3 million by the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.
According to the draft government resolution, this agreement should ensure the investment dispute settlement, prevent bringing a claim to international investment arbitration against Ukraine amounting to more than UAH 635 million, avoid significant expenses from the national budget during the arbitration, demonstrate to the partners of Ukraine and foreign investors that the government adheres to commitments to provide incentives and protect foreign investment.
The amicable agreement will be signed between Philip Morris International Inc., Philip Morris Global Brands Inc. (both the United States), Philip Morris Brands Sarl (Switzerland), PrJSC Philip Morris Ukraine and the state of Ukraine.
Acting Head of the State Fiscal Service Oleksandr Vlasov is authorized to sign the amicable agreement, and the State Fiscal Service is authorized to execute it after signing.
As reported, PrJSC Philip Morris Ukraine in March 2015 appealed and received permission from Kharkiv customs office to apply the processing mode in the customs territory of Ukraine for the production of cigarettes and accompanying products and their re-export for the period from April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016. The company was authorized to conditional exemption from Ukrainian import duties and other import taxes on materials for processing under the terms of re-export.
After Philip Morris Ukraine carried out processing and re-export operations, the main directorate of the State Fiscal Service in Kharkiv region conducted an unscheduled inspection of the company’s compliance with the customs legislation of Ukraine regarding the clearance of goods in the processing mode in the customs territory of Ukraine.
According to the results of the inspection of the main directorate of the State Fiscal Service in Kharkiv region, on June 14, 2016, it approved decision notices that determined the liabilities for paying of import duties, additional import duty and VAT on the import of materials, as well as penalties for the total amount UAH 635.3 million Philip Morris Ukraine. Philip Morris Ukraine said that the actions of the State Fiscal Service are pressure on the company. After that, the parties entered into litigation.

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PHILIP MORRIS UKRAINE TO LAUNCH SOLID FUEL BOILER FOR UAH 63 MLN IN SEPT

Private joint-stock company Philip Morris Ukraine, a large tobacco company in Ukraine, plans to finish construction of a solid fuel boiler in September 2018 and switch its factory from gas to solid fuel.
Deputy Director General Ihor Kroshko said that investment in the project is around UAH 63 million.
“Any kind of granular biofuel can be used as a fuel, which will allow reducing greenhouse gas emissions several times. The boiler’s productivity is 6 tonnes of steam per hour and the capacity is 3.8 megawatts. The new boiler-house will completely cover the needs of the factory,” the company said.
Savings on the switch from gas to renewable energy, according to Philip Morris Ukraine, will be about UAH 15 million per year.
Kroshko said that construction of additional warehouses for storage of non-tobacco materials is also planned.
In 2017, investments in the factory exceeded $11 million (expansion of production facilities, modernization of storage facilities, launch of innovative products and new formats for export and domestic markets). At the same time, the total amount of investment in production facilities during the operation of affiliated companies Philip Morris International (PMI) in Ukraine amounted to $348 million.

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PHILIP MORRIS UKRAINE STARTS EXPORTS TO HONG KONG

Philip Morris Ukraine, one of the largest tobacco producers in Ukraine, in February 2018 started shipments of Kharkiv Tobacco Factory’s products to Hong Kong.
“Now the Philip Morris Ukraine products made at the tobacco factory in Kharkiv region are sold in 13 countries, including Japan, Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, Albania, Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Persian Gulf. Since February 2018, we have been manufacturing products for the duty free zone in Hong Kong, having started with one SKU [stock keeping unit] – Virginia,” Philip Morris Ukraine Director for Corporate Affairs in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova Nataliya Bondarenko said at the third Kharkiv Investment Forum.
According to her, more than 40% of the company’s cigarettes are exported.
“Philip Morris Ukraine’s tobacco factory produces not only cigarettes, but also shredded tobacco, filters for other factories in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the European Union for export,” Bondarenko said.
Over $117 million has been invested in the construction and modernization of the factory, she said. At present, the production facility located on 32 hectares has a full production cycle and its design capacity exceeds 30 billion cigarettes a year.
“With the assistance of the government and the creation of the necessary conditions for business development, we can produce 20-30% more, developing at the international level as an export hub. Philip Morris Ukraine has temporarily suspended the development of export capacities in connection with a trial related to UAH 635 million,” she said.
Court proceedings were launched in May 2016 after the company’s tax dispute with the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, which accuses the company of violations in imports of raw materials and exports of cigarettes, as well as of the illegal use of the Marlboro trademark.

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