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RAI CEO: 'Returning Value in a Challenging Time'
Date:4/30/2008

len said that R.J. Reynolds is intensely focused on getting its performance back on track. "It's clear that we had a difficult first quarter," he said, "and we're already taking steps to improve our marketplace results."

Conwood

Moist-snuff category growth continued in the first quarter with a total industry volume increase of 5.5 percent - or about 7 percent after adjusting for one less shipping day in the current-year quarter. Conwood grew at about twice the industry rate, with the company's Grizzly brand continuing to capture more than 40 percent of total category growth.

Gains on Grizzly, and Kodiak's improved performance, drove Conwood's total moist-snuff shipments up 1.2 share points to a first-quarter share of 26.9 percent. Grizzly's continued growth further strengthened the brand's position as the industry's third-largest and fastest-growing moist-snuff brand.

Introduced as a value brand in 2001, Grizzly posted a first-quarter share of 22.1 percent, up 1.6 share points from the prior-year period. That performance was aided by the recent launch of two new Grizzly styles - Snuff and Wintergreen Pouch - which are both being expanded nationally this year. Grizzly Snuff will be available nationwide in the second quarter, and Grizzly Wintergreen Pouch is scheduled to be national in the third quarter.

"We're exceptionally pleased with the performance of these new Grizzly styles," said William M. Rosson, Conwood's president and chief executive officer. "Their results to date confirm our belief that these products will further add to Grizzly's growth."

Rosson said he was also pleased with the performance of Kodiak, the company's leading premium brand.

"We've taken steps to make Kodiak more competitive in the marketplace, and that translated into volume growth of almost 2 percent compared with last year's first quarter," he said. "And upgrades to the packaging and blends of Kodiak's mint and straight styles that we roll
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SOURCE Reynolds American Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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