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KT&G partners with PMI for e-cigarette presence in global markets

All News 17:24 January 29, 2020

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- KT&G Corp., South Korea's dominant tobacco company, said Wednesday it has partnered with Philip Morris International Inc. to begin the sale of its e-cigarettes in global markets.

KT&G and PMI have signed a three-year supply contract in which the former will distribute its e-cigarette product line Iil through the latter's sales networks, the company said in a statement.

"We are excited to enter into this agreement with KT&G. We are able to bring PMI's resources, knowledge and infrastructure as we leverage KT&G's smoke-free products. Our agreement will benefit adult smokers by providing a wide array of better choices," PMI Chief Executive Andre Calantzopoulos said in the statement.

The products include three existing heat-not-burn products -- lil Hybrid, lil Plus and lil Mini -- and an e-vapor product, lil Vapor, it said.

The two companies are considering using PMI's IQOS and KT&G's lil brand names altogether in products to be sold overseas, a company spokesman said.

For the January-September period, KT&G's net profit jumped 19 percent to 920 billion won (US$781 million) from 772 billion won a year earlier on the back of strong overseas sales.

Its earnings results for 2019 will be released next month.

In this photo taken on Jan. 29, 2020, KT&G CEO Baek Bok-in (L) and PMI CEO Andre Calantzopoulos pose for a photo after signing a three-year supply deal on expansion into global e-cigarette markets in an event held at the South Korean tobacco firm's headquarters in southern Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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