Corporación Habanos S.A.—the company responsible for the sales and marketing of all Cuban cigars—has released the financial data for its 2021 financial year, reporting revenue of $568 million, a 15 percent increase over the previous year.
“The 2021 results confirm the solid path we are on, despite the crisis caused by COVID-19,” said Inocente Núñez Blanco and Luis Sánchez-Harguindey Pardo de Vera, co-presidents of Habanos, S.A., via a press release. “Last year we surpassed the $500 million mark for premium cigar sales worldwide, an all-time record for the category and a testament to the enormous potential of our business. We are very proud to lead the premium cigar category and to continue to grow despite the situations experienced over the past two years.”
The company said that its top five markets by volume were Spain, China, Germany, France and Switzerland. In terms of regional sales, Europe led the way with 59 percent of sales volume, followed by Asia Pacific with 16 percent, the Americas with 14 percent, and Africa and the Middle East with 11 percent.
Habanos S.A. says strong performance from its licensed retail stores was key to its 2021 success. It says there are currently:
- 20 Cohiba Atmosphere locations
- 160 La Casa del Habano stores
- 1,217 Habanos Specialists
- 2,465 Habanos Point designated stores
- 486 Habanos Lounge and Habanos Terrace locations
It acknowledged that the past year has seen impacts and delays in the supply of some of its best-selling vitolas, due to both the pandemic and strong international demand, but said that through the first quarter of 2022, it has seen a gradual improvement in supply.
As for pricing, the company addressed the recent news that it would be adopting an international pricing standard.
“As every year around this time, Habanos, S.A. has updated its selling prices for the distribution network for its entire portfolio,” the company wrote in a press release. “For 2022, they have been established taking into account the current demanding aspects affecting all sectors, including the luxury and premium cigar market, and a new strategy of global homogenization in the highest segment of the price pyramid.”
“Cohiba’s unquestionable leadership worldwide, the strengthening of its positioning with new, even more exclusive projects, and the imbalance between supply (limited by the brand’s unique characteristics) and the unstoppable demand for its vitolas, place Habanos’ number one brand not only as the world’s most exclusive premium cigar brand, but at the level of the most exclusive brands in all luxury sectors.” As a result, Habanos, S.A. has decided to reinforce this positioning and to set Cohiba’s prices uniformly at a global level, using the Hong Kong pricing as a reference.
It will also apply the standard to the Trinidad brand, which the company says will consolidate its position among the elite of Habanos’ brands by becoming “the boutique Habanos brand par excellence.”
Due to local taxes and other factors, Hong Kong is one of the most expensive places to purchase cigars in the world, meaning that the prices for Cohiba and Trinidad will increase dramatically in many markets.
Likewise, some of the more exclusive items in the Montecristo, Partagás and Romeo y Julieta marcas will see their prices increase, which the company described as “redefining the concept of luxury in the premium cigar sector.”
Finally, the company also announced that it will be hosting a gala evening in celebration of the 55th anniversary of the Cohiba brand. The event will take place on Sept. 9 in Havana, with more details about the event to be announced soon, one of which could be the auctioning of the Cohiba 55 Aniversario Humidor, which was previewed in May 2021 and which contains a total of 550 cigars, including the new Cohiba 55 Aniversario, the as-yet-unreleased Cohiba Ambar, along with an assortment of regular production Cohibas, limited editions and rarities from the brand, such as the Cohiba Gran Corona, which is not otherwise available for sale.
This will be the first in-person event held by Habanos S.A. in more than two years after both the 2021 and 2022 editions of the Habanos Festival were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and replaced with virtual events held online.