The Top 5 Largest International Tobacco Companies

  Company Profit Revenue Global Market Share
1 China National Tobacco Co. $16.0 billion $91.7 billion 44%
2 Philip Morris International Inc
(Altria Group Inc)
$7.5 billion $67.7 billion 15%
3 Japan Tobacco International $1.5 billion $65.9 billion 9%
4 British American Tobacco $4.2 billion $58.1 billion 11%
5 Imperial Tobacco Group $2.0 billion $38.4 billion 45%
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  1. In 2010 the combined profits of the six leading tobacco companies was $35 billion. This was equal to the combined profits of Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and McDonald's in 2010. (a.) Total cigarette retail values in 2014 were worth US$744 billion and in over 5.6 trillion cigarettes were sold to more than one billion smokers worldwide. Between 2000 and 2014, global cigarette volume sales increased by 8% while retail values increased 121%. (b.)
  2. Smokers consumed nearly 5.9 trillion cigarettes in 2009. Nearly 20% of the world's population smokes cigarettes, including about 800 million men and 200 million women. Globally, tobacco is responsible for 16% of deaths among men and 7% of deaths among women. An estimated 600,000 individuals die annually from secondhand smoke, and 75% of these deaths are among women and children. (a.)
  3. The government-owned China National Tobacco Corporation is the world's largest producer of tobacco, and China grows 43% of the tobacco on earth, which is more tobacco than the other top nine tobacco-producing countries combined. In China, alone, there are about 350 million smokers (60% men and 3% women), more than the entire population of the United States of America. (a.) In 2008 CNTC manufactured 2.1 trillion of the 5.9 trillion cigarettes produced worldwide. CNTC sells the majority of its product in China; just over 1% of cigarettes produced are exported to other countries. (b.)
  4. For a Brazilian tobacco farmer to earn the equivalent of what a tobacco company director earns in one day would take around 6 years. To earn the Director's equivalent annual salary he would have to work for 2,140 years. (a.)
  5. Estimates of revenues from the global tobacco industry vary widely but are likely approaching half a trillion dollars annually. Although tobacco is ultimately a financial burden on the governments and health-care systems of countries, it is also a source of government revenue, through tobacco taxes and additional profit for those countries with state-owned tobacco companies. Each year the tobacco industry in China contributes over 7% of the central government's total revenue. If Big Tobacco were a country, it would have a gross domestic product (GDP) similar to that of Poland and Sweden. (a.)
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. (a.) The Tobacco Atlas 4th edition. Eriksen M, Mackay J, Ross H. The Tobacco Atlas. Fourth Ed. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; New York, NY: World Lung Foundation; 2012. The Tobacco Atlas.
  2. (b.) Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2015). "The Global Cigarette Industry."
Tags: Business, Finance & Industry, Tobacco & Smoking Statistics, China, The United States, Brands & Consumer Products

Sources:  Eriksen M, Mackay J, Ross H. The Tobacco Atlas. Fourth Ed. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; New York, NY: World Lung Foundation; 2012. The Tobacco Atlas. Fourth Ed.

List Notes: Data is the Top 5 Largest International Tobacco Companies ranked according to profits for the year 2010 in U.S. dollars. Profit equals net earnings after taxes and dividends. Market share is for the year 2014 Data is latest available as of September 30th, 2015.
Largest International Tobacco Companies

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