Bloomberg News

Japan Tobacco Advances on Domestic Shipment Recovery Plan

June 29, 2011

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)

June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Japan Tobacco Inc. rose the most in almost two months in Tokyo trading after the company said it planned to resume shipments earlier than previously announced for all cigarette brands disrupted by the March 11 earthquake.

The world’s third-largest publicly traded cigarette maker by volume climbed 4.5 percent to 313,000 yen at the 3 p.m. close on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, its biggest gain since May 2. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 1.5 percent.

Japan Tobacco will restore deliveries of all brands by July 18 instead of early August, as it had planned earlier, the company said yesterday. The 9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami forced Japan Tobacco to suspend all domestic shipments for 12 days, with cigarette brands gradually returning to production after that.

“Japan Tobacco can finally move on,” Mitsuo Shimizu, an equity analyst at Cosmo Securities Co. in Tokyo, said by telephone today. “The impact from the earthquake has started to diminish.”

Domestic sales fell 38 percent to 7.2 billion cigarettes in May, the Tokyo-based company said June 10. They plunged 81 percent in April.

--With assistance from Kyung Bok Cho in Seoul. Editors: Nicholas Wadhams, Dave McCombs

To contact the reporter on this story: Naoko Fujimura in Tokyo at nfujimura@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Longid at flongid@bloomberg.net


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