Cuban cigar sales grow four percent in 2015

Havana, March 1 (IANS) The sales of Cuban cigar grew four percent in 2015 and generated a revenue of $428 million, an executive of state-run cigar maker Habanos S.A. said.

The growth was due to demand from markets such as Spain, Germany and China as well as the rise of the tourism industry in Cuba, Xinhua quoted Leopoldo Cintra Gonzalez as saying at the opening of the 18th International Habanos Cigar Festival on Monday.

He noted that Habanos achieved a global market share of 70 percent in units and 80 percent in value in 2015 despite the US trade embargo.

The US government has relaxed restrictions on its citizens travelling to Cuba, allowing them to bring back a limited number of cigars as well as Cuban rum.

Said Javier Terres, Habanos vice president of development: “We will be delighted to compete in the US market when the legal conditions allow, and we expect to garner 25-30 percent of that market in a few years.”

Habanos markets 27 brands of Cuban cigars to some 150 countries.

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