The Philip Morris cigarette factory announced that it plans to invest more than USD 240 million in its Izhora factory in Leningrad region by 2005, according to Director for Production in Russia Gi Guffers at a press conference on Tuesday. He said that the project calls for the installation of new equipment for the processing of tobacco and production of cigarettes, and building of a new cigarette works, including the building of more than 50 thousand square meters of warehouse space. The investment will enable the factory to increase production of cigarettes 1.7 times to 70 billion annually.
Guffers said that the new facility will enable the factory to become the largest tobacco producer in Russia.
The closed joint stock company Philip Morris Izhora is 100% the daughter company of US corporation Philip Morris. In the first quarter of 2003, Philip Morris products claimed 24.2% of the Russian tobacco market, according to the Business Analysis research agency. Major brands of Philip Morris include Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Parliament, Chesterfield, L&M, Bond Street, Soyuz-Apollo, Next and Optima. Philip Morris also owns in Russia the open joint stock company Philip Morris Kuban tobacco factory in the Krasnodar region. Russian subsidiaries of Philip Morris increased their total production, comparison with 2001, by 36% to 73 million cigarettes in 2002. Philip Morris Izhora produced 40 billion cigarettes (25 billion in 2001) and Philip Morris Kuban made 33 billion (24 billion in 2001).
Russia has deployed two armies and three units of Airborne Forces to its western borders as part of a verification check, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu said