While its major competitor British American Tobacco Zimbabwe is reeling under a $35 million doubtful debt, Rothmans of Pall Mall Zimbabwe has posted good results with the group’s consolidated earnings increasing 24.4 percent to $66.7 million in the six months ending March.
And the cigarette company which has just cut off the trademark and marketing arrangement with BAT imposed in 1975 at the height of sanctions against the then Rhodesia is confident that the new situation of true competition will strengthen its position as market leaders and continue to grow shareholders funds.
The trademark and marketing arrangement saw the competing companies restricted to trading locally in new cigarette brands such as Kingsgate, Madison and Everest with the popular and international brands like Peter Stuyvessant, Rothmans, Benson and Hedges and Players being phased out.
The arrangement came to an end in line with the Competition Bill.
Rothmans says as a result, it will now be the sole manufacturer of Madison, Everest and Newbury.
The company, says, it is now geared to fully exploit all its trademarks for the benefit of shareholders and will be introducing new products to reinforce the existing brand portfolio.
“If the current environment is not threatened by economic and social instability we anticipate continued growth in spite of greatly increased expenditure on marketing and distribution costs,” the company says.
“The emphasis on the further development of existing export markets and expansion into new areas will be maintained.”