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Business Briefing / TOBACCO

Reynolds lowers value of Kool

October 10, 2008|From Times Wire Services

Reynolds American Inc. will write down the value of its Kool cigarette brand as it focuses on marketing Camel menthols instead, a move that will cost the tobacco company $175 million before taxes in the third quarter.

The brand's trademark value is being lowered because the company no longer considers it a "growth" brand and won't spend as much to promote the cigarette, the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company said.

Reynolds American is downplaying Kool, its top-selling menthol cigarette, as it expands Camel into the category that is dominated by Lorillard Inc.'s Newport brand.

Smoking bans and higher prices because of rising excise taxes are forcing producers to trim expenses.

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