Philip Morris says business in Japan intact

Retail Reuters

(Reuters) - Japan's disaster is not expected to hit Philip Morris International Inc's <PM.N> profits or sales there, the tobacco company said on Monday.

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The company said it does not expect the recent events "will have an effect on its previously announced industry volume expectation in Japan for 2011 or will have a material negative impact on its overall profitability in Japan."

The company said four of the 28 third-party distribution centers in Japan were not operational due to unspecified structural damage.

During the week commencing March 28, the tobacco firm expects two of these centers to resume operations and alternative distribution arrangements to be in place for the remaining two centers.

Philip Morris said the four affected centers accounted for about 12 percent of the company's total 2010 cigarette sales in Japan.

The company also said all employees in Japan had been accounted for and are safe.

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(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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