Philip Morris to convert Greek cigarette factory into plant for smoke-free products

Philip Morris International Inc. PM, -0.35% said Wednesday it has invested about 300 million euro, or the U.S. dollar equivalent of about $323.7 million, to convert a cigarette factory in Greece to a plant to make tobacco sticks for its smoke-free product IQOS. Philip Morris expects the investment to create 400 new jobs in Papastratos, in addition to the 800 people the factory had already employed. Production is expected to begin in January 2018, and the company expects the plant to have an annual capacity of 20 billion tobacco sticks. "This investment is further evidence of our progress towards a smoke-free future," said Frederic de Wilde, regional president for the European Union at Philip Morris. "We are encouraged by the 1.4 million smokers who have already switched to IQOS around the world, and we expect this momentum to continue." The stock, which is still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 24% year to date while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.08% has gained 4.7%.
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