Imperial Tobacco, the second biggest tobacco company in Europe and the fourth biggest in the entire world, has reported its first drop in earnings since it listed on the stock market in 1996.
In the previous six-month period, profits fell by 6.5 per cent to 1.43 billion pounds ($2.22 billion), the British company reported on 29 April 2013.
The reason given was the “difficult” economic situation throughout Europe, but especially in France, Germany and Spain.
The real reason is the simple fact that millions of smokers across Europe are giving up smoking cigarettes as more and more of them realise that tobacco smoke is a deadly concoction of poisons and carcinogens. Now that there are more products for quitting smoking than ever before, such as the e-cigarette, people are finding it easier to give up their unhealthy habit.
One can only hope that Imperial Tobacco’s fall in profits signals the beginning of the economic death of the big tobacco corporations.
Source: Gabi Thesing, “Imperial Tobacco reports first profit decline in 17 years”, Bloomberg, 30 April 2013.