Karelia tobacco company sees 8 pct rise in sales for 2013

Karelia tobacco company sees 8 pct rise in sales for 2013

Karelia SA tobacco company increased its sales by 8 percent in 2013, selling a record 16.8 billion cigarettes, most of them abroad, CEO Andreas Karelias told staff at the annual event for New Year's on Tuesday.

During 2013 the company invested 3 million euros to expand production and strengthen exports; it plans to invest an additional 1.9 million euros early in 2014. It also increased the number of jobs by nearly 8 percent, he said.

In addition to taxes, Karelia SA contributed 170 million euros in foreign currency to the Greek economy from sales abroad. Karelias also said that the company made one-time benefit payments to staff totalling 2.5 million euros.

He also said that the sharp rise of contraband cigarettes and loose tobacco was a result of excessive taxation in cheaper cigarettes and a huge rise in taxes for loose tobacco, and called for the special taxes to be reduced so that the market became normal and state revenues rose.