During the meeting,
“Our main focus at this time is on the health and wellbeing of our employees, their families and the communities in which we operate,” said
“The strong underlying performance of our business, especially the impressive growth of reduced-risk products, was evident in our full-year 2019 and first-quarter 2020 results. However, there is considerable uncertainty as to the development and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social consequences, including those which impact our operating environment and our consumers.”
“We remain confident in our structural mid-term growth prospects and, when the current headwinds have passed, expect to resume growth consistent with our 2019 to 2021 currency-neutral compound annual growth targets. Crucially, our organization, liquidity and balance sheet are strong. We will continue to protect and support our employees, serve our consumers and reward our shareholders, which includes our strong commitment to our dividend.”
Final voting results will be included in a Form 8-K that PMI will file with the
An archived copy of the webcast will be available for approximately one year from the date of the meeting at www.pmi.com/2020annualmeeting. Presentation slides and script will also be available at the same website address.
Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
The presentation, related discussion and this press release contain projections of future results and other forward-looking statements. Achievement of future results is subject to risks, uncertainties and inaccurate assumptions. In the event that risks or uncertainties materialize, or underlying assumptions prove inaccurate, actual results could vary materially from those contained in such forward-looking statements. Pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, PMI is identifying important factors that, individually or in the aggregate, could cause actual results and outcomes to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements made by PMI.
PMI's business risks include: excise tax increases and discriminatory tax structures; increasing marketing and regulatory restrictions that could reduce our competitiveness, eliminate our ability to communicate with adult consumers, or ban certain of our products; health concerns relating to the use of tobacco and other nicotine-containing products and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke; litigation related to tobacco use; intense competition; the effects of global and individual country economic, regulatory and political developments, natural disasters and conflicts; changes in adult smoker behavior; lost revenues as a result of counterfeiting, contraband and cross-border purchases; governmental investigations; unfavorable currency exchange rates and currency devaluations, and limitations on the ability to repatriate funds; adverse changes in applicable corporate tax laws; adverse changes in the cost and quality of tobacco and other agricultural products and raw materials; and the integrity of its information systems and effectiveness of its data privacy policies. PMI's future profitability may also be adversely affected should it be unsuccessful in its attempts to produce and commercialize reduced-risk products or if regulation or taxation do not differentiate between such products and cigarettes; if it is unable to successfully introduce new products, promote brand equity, enter new markets or improve its margins through increased prices and productivity gains; if it is unable to expand its brand portfolio internally or through acquisitions and the development of strategic business relationships; or if it is unable to attract and retain the best global talent. Future results are also subject to the lower predictability of our reduced-risk product category's performance.
PMI is further subject to other risks detailed from time to time in its publicly filed documents, including the Form 10-Q for the quarter ended
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant societal and economic disruption, and resulted in closures of stores, factories and offices, and restrictions on manufacturing, distribution and travel, all of which will adversely impact our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial position during the continuation of the pandemic. Our business continuity plans and other safeguards may not be effective to mitigate the results of the pandemic.
While much of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our business is still unknown, currently, significant risks include our diminished ability to convert adult smokers to our RRPs as store closures preclude in-person guided trials, significant volume declines in our duty-free business and certain other key markets, disruptions or delays in our manufacturing and supply chain, increased currency volatility, and delays in certain cost saving, transformation and restructuring initiatives. Our business could also be adversely impacted if key personnel or a significant number of employees or business partners become unavailable due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The significant adverse impact of COVID-19 on the economic or political conditions in markets in which we operate could result in changes to the preferences of our adult consumers and lower demand for our products, particularly for our mid-price or premium-price brands. Continuation of the pandemic could disrupt our access to the credit markets or increase our borrowing costs. Governments may temporarily be unable to focus on the development of science-based regulatory frameworks for the development and commercialization of RRPs or on the enforcement or implementation of regulations that are significant to our business. In addition, messaging about the potential negative impacts of the use of our products on COVID-19 risks may lead to increasingly restrictive regulatory measures on the sale and use of our products, negatively impact demand for our products, the willingness of adult consumers to switch to our RRPs and our efforts to advocate for the development of science-based regulatory frameworks for the development and commercialization of RRPs.
The impact of these risks also depends on factors beyond our knowledge or control, including the duration and severity of the outbreak and actions taken to contain its spread and to mitigate its public health effects, and the ultimate economic consequences thereof.
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