• April 18, 2024

Eastern CEO Defends Price Hike

 Eastern CEO Defends Price Hike
Photo: Taco Tuinstra

Eastern Co. increased cigarette prices by between EGP2 ($0.06) and EGP8 per pack, effective Feb. 17, 2024, reports Ahram Online.

The company’s most affordable brand, Cleopatra, now retails for EGP30 instead of EGP27 for a pack of 20 cigarettes.

This marks the company’s second price hike in three months. Cigarette prices have increased multiple times over the past year in Egypt amid the decreasing value of the Egyptian pound against the U.S dollar.

Earlier this month, Philip Morris Egypt raised prices of traditional cigarette brands, including Marlboro, Merit and L&M, by between EGP9 and EGP11 per pack.

In a television interview, Eastern Co. CEO Hani Aman insisted the price hikes were modest when compared to the significant increase in the cost of raw materials.

“We are not a very commercial company, otherwise we would have raised our prices by large proportions like other companies, but we look at the issue from a different point of view. Cigarettes are a strategic commodity,” he was quoted as saying by The Egypt Independent.

According to Aman, 95 percent of cigarette components are imported. The price of cigarette filters, for example, has increased by about 400 percent, he said.

Approximately 18 million people out of Egypt’s nearly 105 million-strong population smoke cigarettes, according to official data.