Philip Morris is heavily advertising its new IQOS brand of products — the I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking products heat tobacco but do not let it burn.
The product is currently sold in 44 markets around the world but the Food and Drug Administration has not approved the product for sale in the U.S., according to 24/7 Wall Street. The company's advertising has included a sculpture exhibition at Milan Design Week.
“Our aim is to create a smoke-free future; that is, a future where smoke-free products like IQOS replace cigarettes to the benefit of society,” said Frederic de Wilde, president of Philip Morris European region.
For the first quarter, the company’s earnings per share went down to $0.87 on revenue of $6.75 billion from $1.00 on $6.9 billion last year. Gross profit rose 0.1 percent to 4.29 billion while operating income fell 15.5 percent to $2.05 billion and net income dropped 13 percent to $1.35 billion. Despite these numbers, CEO Andre Calantzopoulos remains optimistic.
“Our first-quarter results represent a promising start to the year, underpinned by a robust performance from our combustible portfolio and strong share growth from our smoke-free products, notably in Japan, Russia and across the EU,” said Calantzopoulos. “Indeed, we achieved an important milestone in the quarter, reaching more than 10 million IQOS users worldwide.”
Although sales of cigarettes (which Philip Morris now calls ‘combustible tobacco products’) were stable, sales of IQOS products rose from 20.2 billion last quarter to 20.5 billion this quarter.