Locally made cigarette brands dominated the Egyptian market, selling about 191m cigarettes daily, compared to 92m cigarettes from foreign brands.
Daily News Egypt obtained a list of the best-selling cigarette brands in Egypt, in which Cleopatra Queen (soft pack) and Cleopatra King Size topped the list with 120m cigarettes daily. The two types are sold for EGP 16 and EGP 15.50 per pack, respectively, after the last price hike of EGP 0.75 following the implementation of the comprehensive health insurance law.
Cleopatra Box (hard pack) Gold, Red, and Blue came second with total sales of 60m cigarettes daily. They are sold for EGP 17 per pack. Egypt’s Eastern Company produces all types of Cleopatra.
Meanwhile, L&M Blue and Red, owned by Philip Morris, ranked third, with total sales of 45m cigarettes daily. They are currently sold for EGP 29 per pack.
British American Tobacco (BAT)’s Pall Mall was the fourth best-selling cigarette brand in Egypt, with total sales of 15m cigarettes daily. It is currently sold for EGP 24 per pack, followed by Marlboro Red and Gold, produced by Phillip Morris, with total daily sales of 12m cigarettes and priced at EGP 37 per pack.
Cleopatra Super seized the sixth rank, selling 11m cigarettes daily, priced at EGP 18 per pack, followed by Phillip Morris’ Merit with sales of 10m cigarettes daily, priced at EGP 40 per pack.
In the eighth rank came Winston, produced by Japan Tobacco International, which sold 5m cigarettes daily, at EGP 27 per pack. Viceroy produced jointly by the Eastern Company and BAT, ranked ninth with total sales of 3m cigarettes daily, priced at EGP 24 per pack. Rothmans, produced by BAT, came in the 10th place with total sales of 2m cigarettes daily, priced at EGP 27 per pack.
Egypt produces about 278m cigarettes daily, excluding weekends and official holidays, through the state-run Eastern Company, which monopolises the production of cigarettes in Egypt.
The Eastern Company accounts for 71-72% of the cigarette market in Egypt, producing most of the cigarette brands in the lower segment and some of the brands in the middle segment.
The company’s middle segment brands are produced in partnership with foreign companies, such as Pall Mall, which is produced jointly with BAT.
The Eastern Company sells about 62bn cigarettes annually, while its nearest competitor, Phillip Morris, sells about 19bn cigarettes.
Despite significant price hikes and taxes imposed in the past years, cigarette sales continue to grow, reaching 87.5bn cigarettes annually.
Cigarette companies seek to maintain their market shares in Egypt, which is the world’s eighth largest cigarette market, according to BAT.
The Eastern Company’s profits jumped by 161% in the first half of last fiscal year to reach EGP 2.3bn, compared to EGP 890m in the same period of the prior fiscal year. This increase in profits came in favour of the government plan to sell a stake of the Eastern Company on the stock market this year, as part of a larger plan to expand the ownership of a number of state-run companies.
The government intends to offer 4.5% of the Eastern Company, a subsidiary of Chemical Industries Holding Company, on the stock market, bringing the offered share to 49.5%, while the government holds the controlling stake of 50.5%.