The increase is the first since the spring, when the industry leader Philip Morris sparked a rash of discounting by cutting the price of its best-selling Marlboro brand by 40 cents a pack.
But analysts said that the across-the-board nature of the Reynolds increase preserves the narrow 50-cents-a-pack differential between premium and discount brands set by the Marlboro cut in April.
The increases cover the following premium brands: Winston, Salem, Camel, Vantage, More, Now and Horizon. Its so-called 'savings' brands include: Doral, Magna, Sterling, Monarch and Best Value.
Other companies are expected to follow RJR's lead. A spokesman for BAT Industries said the company welcomed the increase, and was 'currently deciding what to do in response'.Reuse content