In the Czech Republic, the total cigarette market was down by 2.8% to 20.5 billion units in 2012, mainly reflecting the impact of excise tax-driven price increases in the first and second quarters of 2012. In 4Q12, the total cigarette market was down by 0.7% to 5.3 billion units. PMI’s shipments were down by 7.4% in 2012 and by 5.7% in the fourth quarter. Market share was down by 2.1 points to 42.2% in 2012, principally reflecting continued share declines for lower-margin local brands. PMI’s 4Q12 market share was down by 2.1 points to 40.0%.
Our view: Compared to previous quarters the PMI’s performance has improved in 4Q12, as the total cigarette market was down “only” by 0.7% and PMI’s shipments declined less than in previous three quarters. Note that this could be attributed to the “pre-stocking” effect before the January tax hike rather than to an improvement in the cigarette market. Nevertheless, we increase our 2012 dividend expectation from 960 CZK to 990 CZK per share, which implies 8.6% dividend yield. Overall we see the selected numbers as Neutral for Philip Morris CR.