Philip Morris International (PMI) is the leading international tobacco company, with products sold in approximately 180 countries. In 2011, we held an estimated 16.0 percent share of the international cigarette market outside of the U.S., or 28.1 percent excluding the People's Republic of China and the U.S. In terms of market share, we are the number one company in 13 markets and number two in a further nine of the 30 largest markets by cigarette industry size.
Our aim is to generate superior returns for shareholders, provide high quality and innovative products to adult smokers, and reduce the harm caused by tobacco products. We work toward this last goal by supporting comprehensive regulation based on harm reduction and developing products with the potential to reduce the risk of disease.
We have an unequaled brand portfolio led by Marlboro, the world’s number one international selling cigarette brand, and L&M, the fourth most popular brand. Along with Marlboro and L&M, seven of our brands rank in the top 15 international brands in the world. We have a strong mix of international and local products that appeal to a wide array of adult smokers.
We have historically expanded our business through a mixture of organic growth, geographic expansion, and acquisitions. We have a successful track record of acquiring and integrating companies, including our recent acquisition of Rothmans Inc. of Canada. Other recent acquisitions in Colombia, Indonesia, and Serbia and increased investments in Mexico and Pakistan have also reinforced our position as the leader of the international cigarette market.
Our employees are one of our greatest strengths. Throughout the organization our people are highly motivated, talented, and united by our goal to provide adult smokers with high quality and innovative tobacco products. Our global workforce of more than 78,000 employees hailing from all corners of the globe.
Our products, like all tobacco products, cause disease and are addictive. We communicate about the health risks of smoking and advocate for comprehensive regulation of tobacco products.
We are proactively working with governments and other stakeholders to advocate for regulation that applies to all tobacco products and is based on the principle of harm reduction. Our support for regulation extends across every market where our products are sold.
We have world-class research and development capabilities, focused on the development of products with the potential to reduce the risk of tobacco-related diseases. We have recently opened a new, state-of-the-art R&D center in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
For us, responsibility begins with the product. That is why we are committed to communicating about the health risks of smoking in an open and transparent way, and to support tobacco regulation wherever our products are sold.
We also support initiatives in local communities where our employees live and work, as well as in places where we source our tobacco. We focus on five critical societal issues: hunger and extreme poverty, education, environmental sustainability, domestic violence, and disaster relief. Today, our charitable contributions programs make a difference in communities around the world.