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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Philip Morris St. Pete Plant Gets $240M

ST PETERSBURG -- Philip Morris International will invest $240 million in its factory near St. Petersburg to boost output to 70 billion cigarettes per year from 40 billion by 2005.

"Philip Morris International is doing well in Russia. Sales grew by 30 percent in 2002, and that growth is continuing," Mark Duerst, Philip Morris Management Services BV's managing director for Russia, said at a news conference.

"We need to significantly increase our production base in Russia to satisfy consumer demand for our product."

This 70-percent rise in annual production capacity would make the company's fully owned Leningrad region-based subsidiary, Philip Morris Izhora, the country's top cigarette producer, Guy Goeffers, the parent company's head of Russian business development, told reporters Tuesday.

Philip Morris Izhora produces Marlboro, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield and Bond Street brands.

Philip Morris International has a second factory in the country, Philip Morris Kuban, based in the southern city of Krasnodar, which produced 33 billion cigarettes last year.

The two plants account for 22.4 percent of the domestic tobacco market, up 4 percent on the year in 2002.

Philip Morris Izhora will also increase its workforce to 1,400 from 1,000, Goeffers said.

The company, whose top cigarette brand is Marlboro, the No. 1 brand worldwide, is the international tobacco unit of Altria Group Inc.

(Reuters, MT)