According to HN daily, there is a new proposal of excise tax in the Parliament. In comparison to previously discussed increase from initially proposed minimal tax of CZK 1.8/piece and then proposed CZK 1.83/piece by the Communist party, the latest proposal counts with minimal tax of CZK 1.92/piece. Specific and ad valorem excise tax should in comparison to previous proposals increase from CZK 0.96/piece + 28% of retail price or CZK 0.95/piece + 29% retail price to CZK 1.03/piece + 28% of retail price.
This step only confirms our recent concerns that government is willing to increase the excise tax above the minimal level required by EU, which requires that 57% of the retail price represent excise tax and that there is taxation of at least EUR 64/1,000 cigarettes. The new proposal represent according to our forecasted EUR/CZK exchange rate the taxation of EUR 68.4/1,000 cigarettes. Should this new proposal is approved, there will be undoubtedly negative effect for all cigarette producers as this will only further increase consumer migration towards cheaper brands. Although PMCR position has improved over the couple past years in the low price segment, competition position in this segment seems to be better. We see the news as trading negative.