COVID-19: Philip Morris announces temporary suspension of operations

Philip Morris
Philip Morris

PHILIP Morris International Inc. has announced that it will implement a temporary suspension of its operations at Philip Morris Manufacturing & Technology Bologna S.p.A., Italy (“MTB”) due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19. In agreement with social partners, the Company has decided to suspend production for a period of one week, out of an abundance of caution and to support the government’s efforts to limit propagation of COVID-19.

The Company will monitor the situation closely with a view to restarting operations as soon as possible, subject to government requirements.

Although several governments have mandated production facilities to temporarily suspend their operations, currently for periods from one to two weeks, PMI does not currently expect out-of-stock situations in any major operating income markets and believes consumers still have adequate access to its products.

As part of its ongoing business continuity plans, there are adequate inventories of PMI finished goods, on average across all markets, of over two months for heated tobacco units (“HTUs”), over three months for tobacco heating devices, and over one and a half months for cigarettes, based on sales trends recorded prior to the situation generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although MTB accounted for approximately 50% of HTU production as of February 2020, PMI’s other HTU facilities currently remain operational, with an annual installed capacity of approximately 70 billion units. The above-mentioned government-mandated production suspensions affect approximately 20% of PMI’s cigarette-production capacity worldwide.

“In this unprecedented global situation, our primary concern remains the health and safety of our colleagues, their families, and the communities in which we operate,” said Jacek Olczak, PMI Chief Operating Officer. “We have therefore decided to temporarily suspend operations at our facility near Bologna. We are committed to doing our part and have taken a number of steps over the last two months to protect our people and ensure continuity of supply to our customers and consumers.”

PMI has implemented a number of measures to protect employees in its manufacturing facilities and offices around the world, including: asking office-based employees to work from home, limiting business travel, canceling large in-person gatherings and events, restricting access to factories to essential workers, implementing temperature screening where permitted, enhancing cleaning and sanitization protocols, compartmentalizing activities, and enforcing personal protective equipment use, personal hygiene and social distancing.

– Mar. 24, 2020 @ 11:55 GMT |

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