Philip Mor­ris in­vest­ment to cre­ate 400 new jobs

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Marl­boro maker Philip Mor­ris will in­vest 300 mil­lion eu­ros in its Greek unit Pa­pas­tratos to con­vert the cig­a­rette plant into a maker of to­bacco sticks for its smoke­less IQOS prod­uct, ex­ec­u­tives said yes­ter­day. Launched in 2014, the IQOS de­vice heats real to­bacco re­fills to pro­duce to­bacco-fla­vored va­por in­stead of burn­ing it, which pro­duces haz­ardous smoke and tar. It is ef­fec­tively a hy­brid be­tween real and elec­tronic cig­a­rettes. “We are im­ple­ment­ing what Greece needs right now, in­vest­ments, new jobs and ex­ports,” Pa­pas­tratos chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris­tos Harpan­tidis told re­porters. “We will be mak­ing a prod­uct that will be ex­ported to more than 30 coun­tries in the world.” Pa­pas­tratos, with an­nual sales of 1.3 bil­lion eu­ros, has a 40 per­cent share of the do­mes­tic mar­ket and em­ploys 800 work­ers. The project will en­tail three new build­ings at Pa­pas­tratos’s fa­cil­ity in Aspropy­r­gos, out­side Athens, with new lines of to­bacco pro­cess­ing and pro­duc­tion of re­fills for IQOS. Ex­ec­u­tives said it will cre­ate 400 new jobs. Pa­pas­tratos, which cur­rently man­u­fac­tures 12 bil­lion cig­a­rettes an­nu­ally and ex­ports 60 per­cent, will be turn­ing out 20 bil­lion re­fills a year, ab­sorb­ing a sig­nif­i­cant amount of Greek to­bacco pro­duc­tion.

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