Wednesday 17 June 2015

McKee, Diethelm And Their Brilliant Endgame Strategy

In November last year, I was at the London Shool of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to see a self-congratulatory panel 'debate' entitled “Can the war on tobacco be won?”. I wrote of it here, and recounted how an economically illiterate throbber saw tobacco industry share prices as a means to phase out tobacco for good.
But [Pascal] Diethelm has a cunning plan, you see. All that is needed for the "endgame" to succeed is to get those tobacco industry profits down so that people don't buy their shares any more. It's a doddle and the FCTC has been terrorising the tobacco industry since 1997 so it's only a matter of time. Allegedly.
Indeed, the Chair of that 'debate' is also of the opinion that tobacco share prices are a gauge of how successful his extremist anti-smoking colleagues have been.
In which case - especially since plain packs are now to be introduced to the UK in 2016 and tobacco controllers are having orgasms over the potential for a domino effect worldwide - news this week from the FT suggests that the tobacco control industry is an abject failure, by their own criteria (emphases mine).
BAT leads FTSE recovery from six-month low
British American Tobacco was the biggest gainer on Tuesday as the FTSE 100 recovered from a six-month low. 
BAT emerged as the favoured pick among brokers that had been working on Imperial Tobacco’s now-complete purchase of US brands. 
CLSA was also positive on BAT, upgrading its recommendation to “buy”. Underperformance in May means BAT’s valuation discount to Philip Morris has widened to 10 per cent from 5 per cent historically, in spite of similar growth expectations, CLSA told clients. 
BAT climbed 2.9 per cent to £35.11 and Imperial took on 2.2 per cent to £32.46. Credit Suisse set a target price of £36 on the latter, having advised Imperial on buying brands shed as part of the Reynolds-Lorillard merger.
For something more visual, here are BAT and Imperial's share price performances from the 1990s to today.

Yep, all going to plan for McKee and Diethelm. 

1 comment:

theprog said...

The tobacco industry isn't too worried by cigs being taxed out of existence in the likes of the UK and OZ. And, by association, consumers in those places.

The Third World and developing countries have far more things to worry about than persecuting smokers by making them even poorer. Furthermore, such countries don't have comprehensive free health care, so couldn't really give a (pretend shit) about so-called additional costs of so-called smoking related diseases to the taxpayer. Poorer citizens of these countries make sure they have plenty of surviving kids to look after them in old age - I met a gay guy in Bali some years ago (not for what you're thinking..) and he told me that lack of children has long term issues for homosexuals . Besides, it's not smoking (nor ever has been) that's the cause of relatively short longevity in poor countries.