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Havana, Cuba.- Cigar sales in the world rose during the 2018 commercial year, executives of the Cuban tobacco sector said on Monday, adding they appreciated an even more promising future for these premium (hand-rolled) cigars.

At the beginning of the XXI Habano Festival, from February 18-22 at the capital’s Convention Center, organizers expressed their satisfaction over the upward spiral of this product with business figures of 537 million dollars (seven percent increase)in the last year.

During a press conference, the director of development of the international corporation Habanos S.A., Jose Maria Lopez, spoke along with the director of operational marketing, Ernesto Gonzalez, and its vice-director Alex Fernandez.

The sales of cigars in the world grew during the year Gonzalez said that the turnover of $537 million dollars showed greater strength in sales despite the difficulties of the market.

It meant that the world market for this product moves in the range of 450 million units, of which Cuba reaches 70 percent in terms of units and 80 percent in values.

He pointed out there are 148 Habano Houses in the world, covering 17,814 square meters, and another thousand outlets selling habanos, such as Habanos specialists and other stores.

They ratified the sources as the main market of Spain with 22 percent growth in value, followed in Europe by Switzerland and Germany, which respectively accumulate increases of 16 and 15 percent in 2018, said today executives of the Cuban tobacco sector who appreciated an even more promising future for these premium cigars (hand-rolled).

Europe as a whole saw a 53 percent increase in sales. Asia-Pacific accumulated a nine percent increase in value, with mainland China standing out with a 55 percent increase.

Africa and the Middle East recorded a five percent rise in values while Turkey recorded a 125 percent rise, Israel (11) and South Africa (33).

America rose 18 percent in sales and two percent in stocks, with the Cuban market standing out with 12 percent and the Caribbean with 13 percent (stocks).

He stated that the commercialization of cigars is stable and therefore the laws and measures of the United States against the Cuban economy, so far, do not affect these sales.

However, the main impact is on U.S. smokers, who are unable to buy and consume this high quality product first hand.

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