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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from              to             
 
Commission File Number: 001-33708
 PHILIP MORRIS INTERNATIONAL INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Virginia   13-3435103
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
120 Park Avenue  
New York
New York 10017
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip Code)
917-663-2000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class                     Trading Symbol(s) Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, no par value PM New York Stock Exchange
1.875% Notes due 2021 PM21B New York Stock Exchange
4.125% Notes due 2021 PM21 New York Stock Exchange
2.900% Notes due 2021 PM21A New York Stock Exchange
2.625% Notes due 2022 PM22A New York Stock Exchange
2.375% Notes due 2022 PM22B New York Stock Exchange
2.500% Notes due 2022 PM22 New York Stock Exchange
2.500% Notes due 2022 PM22C New York Stock Exchange
2.625% Notes due 2023 PM23 New York Stock Exchange
2.125% Notes due 2023 PM23B New York Stock Exchange
3.600% Notes due 2023 PM23A New York Stock Exchange
2.875% Notes due 2024 PM24 New York Stock Exchange
2.875% Notes due 2024 PM24C New York Stock Exchange
0.625% Notes due 2024 PM24B New York Stock Exchange
3.250% Notes due 2024 PM24A New York Stock Exchange
2.750% Notes due 2025 PM25 New York Stock Exchange
3.375% Notes due 2025 PM25A New York Stock Exchange



Title of each class                     Trading Symbol(s) Name of each exchange on which registered
2.750% Notes due 2026 PM26A New York Stock Exchange
2.875% Notes due 2026 PM26 New York Stock Exchange
0.125% Notes due 2026 PM26B New York Stock Exchange
3.125% Notes due 2027 PM27 New York Stock Exchange
3.125% Notes due 2028 PM28 New York Stock Exchange
2.875% Notes due 2029 PM29 New York Stock Exchange
3.375% Notes due 2029 PM29A New York Stock Exchange
0.800% Notes due 2031 PM31 New York Stock Exchange
3.125% Notes due 2033 PM33 New York Stock Exchange
2.000% Notes due 2036 PM36 New York Stock Exchange
1.875% Notes due 2037 PM37A New York Stock Exchange
6.375% Notes due 2038 PM38 New York Stock Exchange
1.450% Notes due 2039 PM39 New York Stock Exchange
4.375% Notes due 2041 PM41 New York Stock Exchange
4.500% Notes due 2042 PM42 New York Stock Exchange
3.875% Notes due 2042 PM42A New York Stock Exchange
4.125% Notes due 2043 PM43 New York Stock Exchange
4.875% Notes due 2043 PM43A New York Stock Exchange
4.250% Notes due 2044 PM44 New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes    No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes    No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes    No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes    No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer                            Accelerated filer              
Non-accelerated filer                             Smaller reporting company    ☐
                                    Emerging growth company    ☐
 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.       
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).  Yes    No  

As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $109 billion based on the closing sale price of the common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.




 
        Class                                   Outstanding at January 29, 2021
Common Stock,
no par value
  1,557,451,856  shares
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Document Parts Into Which Incorporated
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for use in connection with its annual meeting of shareholders to be held on May 5, 2021, to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on or about March 25, 2021. Part III




TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
    Page
PART I
 
Item 1.
Business
1
Item 1A.
Risk Factors
6
Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2.
Properties
Item 3.
Legal Proceedings
Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures
PART II
 
Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6.
Selected Financial Data
Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A.
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8.
Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9.
Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A.
Controls and Procedures
Item 9B.
Other Information
PART III
 
Item 10.
Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11.
Executive Compensation
Item 12.
Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13.
Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14.
Principal Accounting Fees and Services
PART IV
Item 15.
Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Signatures
 
In this report, “PMI,” “we,” “us” and “our” refers to Philip Morris International Inc. and its subsidiaries.

Trademarks and service marks in this report are the registered property of, or licensed by, the subsidiaries of Philip Morris International Inc. and are italicized.



PART I

Item 1.Business.
 
General Development of Business
 
General
 
Philip Morris International Inc. is a Virginia holding company incorporated in 1987. We are a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, as well as smoke-free products, associated electronic devices and accessories, and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the United States of America. In addition, we ship versions of our Platform 1 device and consumables to Altria Group, Inc. for sale under license in the United States, where these products have received marketing authorizations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") under the premarket tobacco product application ("PMTA") pathway; the FDA has also authorized the marketing of a version of our Platform 1 device and its consumables as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product ("MRTP"), finding that an exposure modification order for these products is appropriate to promote the public health.

We are leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future, based on a new category of reduced-risk products that, while not risk free, are a much better choice than continuing to smoke. Our goal is to ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, society, the company and its shareholders.

Reduced-risk products ("RRPs") is the term we use to refer to products that present, are likely to present, or have the potential to present less risk of harm to smokers who switch to these products versus continuing smoking. We have a range of RRPs in various stages of development, scientific assessment and commercialization. Because our RRPs do not burn tobacco, they produce an aerosol that contains far lower quantities of harmful and potentially harmful constituents than found in cigarette smoke.  Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, we aim to ensure that our RRPs meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements.

Our IQOS smoke-free product brand portfolio includes heated tobacco and nicotine-containing vapor products.  Our leading smoke-free platform ("Platform 1") is a precisely controlled device into which a specially designed heated tobacco unit is inserted and heated to generate an aerosol. Heated tobacco units ("HTU") is the term we use to refer to heated tobacco consumables, which for us include our HEETS, HEETS Creations, HEETS Dimensions, HEETS Marlboro and HEETS FROM MARLBORO (defined collectively as HEETS), Marlboro Dimensions, Marlboro HeatSticks and Parliament HeatSticks, as well as the KT&G-licensed brands, Fiit and Miix (outside of Korea). Platform 1 was first introduced in Nagoya, Japan, in 2014. As of December 31, 2020, Platform 1 is available for sale in 64 markets in key cities or nationwide.

Our cigarettes are sold in more than 175 markets, and in many of these markets they hold the number one or number two market share position. We have a wide range of premium, mid-price and low-price brands. Our portfolio comprises both international and local brands and is led by Marlboro, the world’s best-selling international cigarette, which accounted for approximately 37% of our total 2020 cigarette shipment volume. Marlboro is complemented in the premium-price category by Parliament. Our other leading international cigarette brands are Bond Street, Chesterfield, L&M, Lark and Philip Morris. These seven international cigarette brands contributed approximately 79% of our cigarette shipment volume in 2020. We also own a number of important local cigarette brands, such as Dji Sam Soe, Sampoerna A and Sampoerna U in Indonesia, and Fortune and Jackpot in the Philippines.

Source of Funds — Dividends
 
We are a legal entity separate and distinct from our direct and indirect subsidiaries. Accordingly, our right, and thus the right of our creditors and stockholders, to participate in any distribution of the assets or earnings of any subsidiary is subject to the prior rights of creditors of such subsidiary, except to the extent that claims of our company itself as a creditor may be recognized. As a holding company, our principal sources of funds, including funds to make payment on our debt securities, are from the receipt of dividends and repayment of debt from our subsidiaries. Our principal wholly owned and majority-owned subsidiaries currently are not limited by long-term debt or other agreements in their ability to pay cash dividends or to make other distributions that are otherwise compliant with law.
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Description of Business
 
We manage our business in six operating segments as follows:

The European Union Region (“EU”) is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, and covers all the European Union countries and also Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and the United Kingdom;
The Eastern Europe Region (“EE”) is also headquartered in Lausanne and includes Southeast Europe, Central Asia, Ukraine, Israel and Russia;
The Middle East & Africa Region (“ME&A”) is also headquartered in Lausanne and covers the African continent, the Middle East, Turkey and our international duty free business;
The South & Southeast Asia Region (“S&SA”) is headquartered in Hong Kong and includes Indonesia, the Philippines and other markets in this region;
The East Asia & Australia Region (“EA&A”) is also headquartered in Hong Kong and includes Australia, Japan, South Korea, the People's Republic of China and other markets in this region, as well as Malaysia and Singapore; and
The Latin America & Canada Region (“LA&C”) is headquartered in New York and covers the South American continent, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada. LA&C also includes transactions under license with Altria Group, Inc., for the distribution of our Platform 1 product in the United States.

As of March 22, 2019, we deconsolidated the financial results of our Canadian subsidiary, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. ("RBH") from our financial statements. For further details, see Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Item 8”) Note 20. Deconsolidation of RBH.

Following the deconsolidation of our Canadian subsidiary, we will continue to report the volume of brands sold by RBH for which other PMI subsidiaries are the trademark owners. These include HEETS, Next, Philip Morris and Rooftop.

References to total international market, defined as worldwide cigarette and heated tobacco unit volume excluding the United States, total industry, total market and market shares in this Form 10-K are our estimates for tax-paid products based on the latest available data from a number of internal and external sources and may, in defined instances, exclude the People's Republic of China and/or our duty free business. Unless otherwise stated, references to total industry, total market, our shipment volume and our market share performance reflect cigarettes and heated tobacco units. In addition, to reflect the deconsolidation of RBH, effective March 22, 2019, PMI's total market share has been restated for previous periods.

2020 estimates for total industry volume and market share in certain geographies reflect limitations on the availability and accuracy of industry data during pandemic-related restrictions.

Our total shipments, including cigarettes and heated tobacco units, decreased by 8.1% in 2020 to 704.6 billion units. We estimate that international industry volumes, including cigarettes and heated tobacco units, were approximately 4.9 trillion units in 2020, a 3.0% decrease from 2019. Excluding the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”), we estimate that international cigarette and heated tobacco unit volume was 2.5 trillion units in 2020, a 5.8% decrease from 2019. We estimate that our reported share of the international market (which is defined as worldwide cigarette and heated tobacco unit volume, excluding the United States of America) was approximately 14.4% in 2020, 15.1% in 2019 and 15.2% in 2018. Excluding the PRC, we estimate that our reported share of the international market was approximately 27.7%, 28.4%, and 28.3% in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
 
Shipments of our principal cigarette brand, Marlboro, decreased by 11.3% in 2020 and represented approximately 9.5% of the international cigarette market, excluding the PRC, in 2020, 10.0% in 2019 and 9.7% in 2018.
 
Total shipment volume of heated tobacco units reached 76.1 billion units in 2020, up from 59.7 billion units in 2019.

We have a market share of at least 15% in approximately 95 markets, including Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
 


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Distribution & Sales

Our main types of distribution are tailored to the characteristics of each market and are often used simultaneously:
 
Direct sales and distribution, where we have set up our own distribution selling directly to the retailers;
Distribution through independent distributors that often distribute other fast-moving consumer goods and are responsible for distribution in a particular market;
Exclusive zonified distribution, where the distributors are dedicated to us in tobacco products distribution and assigned to exclusive territories within a market;
Distribution through national or regional wholesalers that then supply the retail trade; and
Our own brand retail and e-commerce infrastructures for our RRP products and accessories.
 

Competition    
 
We are subject to highly competitive conditions in all aspects of our business. We compete primarily on the basis of product quality, brand recognition, brand loyalty, taste, R&D, innovation, packaging, customer service, marketing, advertising and retail price and, increasingly, adult smoker willingness to convert to our RRPs. In the combustible product category, we predominantly sell American blend cigarette brands, such as Marlboro, L&M, Parliament, Philip Morris and Chesterfield, which are the most popular across many of our markets. In the RRP product category, we predominantly sell Platform 1 devices and heated tobacco units under the IQOS brand umbrella. We seek to compete in all profitable retail price categories, although our brand portfolio is weighted towards the premium-price category.

The competitive environment and our competitive position can be significantly influenced by weak economic conditions, erosion of consumer confidence, competitors' introduction of lower-price products or innovative products, higher tobacco product taxes, higher absolute prices and larger gaps between retail price categories, and product regulation that diminishes the ability to differentiate tobacco products and restricts adult consumer access to truthful and non-misleading information about our RRPs. Competitors include three large international tobacco companies, new market entrants, particularly with respect to innovative products, several regional and local tobacco companies and, in some instances, state-owned tobacco enterprises, principally in Algeria, Egypt, the PRC, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Industry consolidation and privatizations of state-owned enterprises have led to an overall increase in competitive pressures. Some competitors have different profit and volume objectives, and some international competitors are susceptible to changes in different currency exchange rates. Certain new market entrants may alienate consumers from innovative products through inappropriate marketing campaigns, messaging and inferior product satisfaction, while not relying on scientific substantiation based on appropriate R&D protocols and standards. The growing use of digital media could increase the speed and extent of the dissemination of inaccurate and misleading information about our RRPs.

Procurement and Raw Materials    
 
We purchase tobacco leaf of various types, grades and styles throughout the world, mostly through independent tobacco suppliers. In 2020, we also contracted directly with farmers in several countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Pakistan and Poland. In 2020, direct sourcing from farmers represented approximately 25% of PMI’s global leaf requirements. The largest supplies of tobacco leaf are sourced from Argentina, Brazil, China, Italy, Indonesia (mostly for domestic use in kretek products), Malawi, Mozambique, the Philippines, Turkey and the United States.

We believe that there is an adequate supply of tobacco leaf in the world markets to satisfy our current and anticipated production requirements.

In addition to tobacco leaf, we purchase a wide variety of direct materials from a total of approximately 400 suppliers. In 2020, our top ten suppliers of direct materials combined represented approximately 55% of our total direct materials purchases. The three most significant direct materials that we purchase are printed paper board used in packaging, acetate tow used in filter making and fine paper used in the manufacturing of cigarettes and heated tobacco units. In addition, the adequate supply and procurement of cloves are of particular importance to our Indonesian business.

We discuss the details of our supply chain for our RRPs in Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of this Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Item 7”) in Business Environment—Reduced-Risk Products.


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 Business Environment

Information called for by this Item is hereby incorporated by reference to the paragraphs in Item 7, Business Environment.
 

Other Matters
 
Customers
 
As described in more detail in “Distribution & Sales” above, in many of our markets we sell our products to distributors. In 2020, sales to a distributor in the European Union Region and a distributor in the East Asia & Australia Region each amounted to 10 percent or more of our consolidated net revenues. See Item 8, Note 12. Segment Reporting for more information. We believe that none of our business segments is dependent upon a single customer or a few customers, the loss of which would have a material adverse effect on our consolidated results of operations.  In some of our markets, particularly in the European Union and in the East Asia & Australia Regions, a loss of a distributor may result in a temporary market disruption.
 
Employees
      
Our Workforce. At December 31, 2020, we employed approximately 71,000 people worldwide, including full-time, temporary and part-time staff. Our businesses are subject to a number of laws and regulations relating to our relationship with our employees. Generally, these laws and regulations are specific to the location of each business. We engage with legally recognized employee representative bodies and we have collective bargaining agreements in many of the countries in which we operate. In addition, in accordance with European Union requirements, we have established a European Works Council composed of management and elected members of our workforce. We believe we maintain good relations with our employees and their representative organizations.

Our Internal Transformation. To be successful in our transformation to a smoke-free future, we must continue transforming our culture and ways of working, align our talent with our business needs and innovate to become a truly consumer-centric business. To achieve our strategic goals, we need to attract, retain and motivate the best global talent with the right degree of diversity, experience and skills. Therefore, we strive to ensure the development of our existing talent while increasingly recruiting those with the expertise in areas that are new to us such as digital and technical solutions. We set the levels of our compensation and benefit programs that we believe are necessary to achieve these goals and remain competitive with other consumer product companies.

Oversight and Management. Our Board of Directors provides oversight of various matters pertaining to our workforce, and the Compensation and Leadership Development Committee of the Board is responsible for executive compensation matters and oversight of the risks and programs related to talent management. As part of our commitment to workplace diversity in 2020, our Board appointed a Chief Diversity Officer who reports directly to our CEO. Our Code of Conduct highlights our commitment to diversity, inclusion, fairness, safety and equal opportunity in all aspects of employment. We were the first multinational company to receive a global EQUAL-SALARY certification from the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation. This achievement is an important building block on the road to creating a more inclusive gender-balanced workplace and continuing our reputation as a top employer.

Our Initiatives in Response to COVID-19. We focused on business continuity, health and safety of our employees, and rapidly adapting our ways of working to a new environment. We implemented additional safety measures for essential employees in our facilities and offices and continue to pay salaries to those employees who are unable to work due to government restrictions. We enhanced remote work arrangements and digital collaboration and related risk management, and to date, a large majority of our employees continues to work remotely.

Government Regulation

As a company with global operations in a heavily regulated industry, we are subject to multiple laws and regulations of jurisdictions in which we operate. We discuss our regulatory environment in Item 7, Business Environment.

We are subject to international, national and local environmental laws and regulations in the countries in which we do business. We have specific programs across our business units designed to meet applicable environmental compliance requirements and reduce our carbon footprint, wastage, as well as water and energy consumption. We report externally about our climate change mitigation strategy, together with associated targets and results in reducing our carbon footprint, through CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project), the leading international non-governmental organization assessing the work of thousands of companies worldwide in the area of environmental impact, including climate change. Our environmental and occupational health and safety management program includes policies, standard practices and procedures at all our manufacturing centers. Furthermore, we have engaged an external certification body to validate the effectiveness of this management program at our manufacturing centers around the world, in accordance with internationally recognized standards for safety and environmental management. Our subsidiaries expect to continue to
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make investments in order to drive improved performance and maintain compliance with environmental laws and regulations. We assess and report to our management the compliance status of all our legal entities on a regular basis. Based on current regulations, the management and controls we have in place and our review of climate change risks (both physical and regulatory), environmental expenditures have not had, and are not expected to have, a material adverse effect on our consolidated results of operations, capital expenditures, financial position, earnings or competitive position.

Based on current regulations, compliance with government regulations, including environmental regulations, has not had, and is not expected to have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, capital expenditures, financial position, earnings, or competitive position.

As discussed in more detail in Item 1A. Risk Factors, our financial results could be significantly affected by regulatory initiatives that could result in a significant decrease in demand for our brands. More specifically, any regulatory requirements that lead to a commoditization of tobacco products or impede adult consumers' ability to convert to our RRPs, as well as any significant increase in the cost of complying with new regulatory requirements could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.
 
Information About Our Executive Officers    

The disclosure regarding executive officers is hereby incorporated by reference to the discussion under the heading “Information about our Executive Officers as of February 8, 2021” in Part III, Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance of this Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Item 10”).
 

Intellectual Property

Our trademarks are valuable assets, and their protection and reputation are essential to us. We own the trademark rights to all of our principal brands, including Marlboro, HEETS and IQOS, or have the right to use them in all countries where we use them.
 
In addition, we have a large number of granted patents and pending patent applications worldwide. Our patent portfolio, as a whole, is material to our business. However, no one patent, or group of related patents, is material to us. We also have registered industrial designs, as well as unregistered proprietary trade secrets, technology, know-how, processes and other unregistered intellectual property rights.
 
Effective January 1, 2008, PMI entered into an Intellectual Property Agreement with Philip Morris USA Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Altria Group, Inc. (“PM USA”). The Intellectual Property Agreement allocates ownership of jointly funded intellectual property as follows:

PMI owns all rights to jointly funded intellectual property outside the United States, its territories and possessions; and
PM USA owns all rights to jointly funded intellectual property in the United States, its territories and possessions.

The parties agreed to submit disputes under the Intellectual Property Agreement first to negotiation between senior executives and then to binding arbitration.


Seasonality
 
Our business segments are not significantly affected by seasonality, although in certain markets cigarette consumption may be lower during the winter months due to the cold weather and may rise during the summer months due to outdoor use, longer daylight, and tourism.
 

Available Information    
 
We are required to file with the SEC annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The SEC maintains an Internet website at http://www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC, from which investors can electronically access our SEC filings.
 
We make available free of charge on, or through, our website at www.pmi.com our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of
5


the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. Investors can access our filings with the SEC by visiting www.pmi.com.
 
The information on our website is not, and shall not be deemed to be, a part of this report or incorporated into any other filings we make with the SEC.


Item 1A.     Risk Factors.     
     
The following risk factors should be read carefully in connection with evaluating our business and the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Any of the following risks could materially adversely affect our business, our operating results, our financial condition and the actual outcome of matters as to which forward-looking statements are made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
We may from time to time make written or oral forward-looking statements, including statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the SEC, in reports to stockholders and in press releases and investor webcasts. You can identify these forward-looking statements by use of words such as "strategy," "expects," "continues," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "will," "estimates," "intends," "projects," "aims," "goals," "targets," "forecasts" and other words of similar meaning. You can also identify them by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts.
We cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will be realized, although we believe we have been prudent in our plans and assumptions. Our RRPs constitute a new product category in its early stages that is less predictable than our mature cigarette business. Achievement of future results is subject to risks, uncertainties and inaccurate assumptions. Should known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove inaccurate, actual results could vary materially from those anticipated, estimated or projected. Investors should bear this in mind as they consider forward-looking statements and whether to invest in or remain invested in our securities. In connection with the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are 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 us; any such statement is qualified by reference to the following cautionary statements. We elaborate on these and other risks we face throughout this document, particularly in Item 7, Business Environment. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all risk factors. Consequently, you should not consider the following to be a complete discussion of all potential risks or uncertainties. We do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that we may make from time to time, except in the normal course of our public disclosure obligations.

Overall Business Risks

Consumption of tax-paid cigarettes continues to decline in many of our markets.
This decline is due to multiple factors, including increased taxes and pricing, governmental actions, the diminishing social acceptance of smoking and health concerns, continuing economic and geopolitical uncertainty, and the continuing prevalence of illicit products. These factors and their potential consequences are discussed more fully below and in Item 7, Business Environment.

Cigarettes are subject to substantial taxes. Significant increases in cigarette-related taxes have been proposed or enacted and are likely to continue to be proposed or enacted in numerous jurisdictions. These tax increases may disproportionately affect our profitability and make us less competitive versus certain of our competitors.
Tax regimes, including excise taxes, sales taxes and import duties, can disproportionately affect the retail price of cigarettes versus other combustible tobacco products, or disproportionately affect the relative retail price of our cigarette brands versus cigarette brands manufactured by certain of our competitors. Because our portfolio is weighted toward the premium-price cigarette category, tax regimes based on sales price can place us at a competitive disadvantage in certain markets. As a result, our volume and profitability may be adversely affected in these markets.

Increases in cigarette taxes are expected to continue to have an adverse impact on our sales of cigarettes, due to resulting lower consumption levels, a shift in sales from manufactured cigarettes to other combustible tobacco products and from the premium-price to the mid-price or low-price cigarette categories, where we may be under-represented, from local sales to legal cross-border purchases of lower price products, or to illicit products such as contraband, counterfeit and "illicit whites."

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Our business faces significant governmental action aimed at increasing regulatory requirements with the goal of reducing or preventing the use of tobacco products.
Governmental actions, combined with the diminishing social acceptance of smoking and private actions to restrict smoking, have resulted in reduced industry volume in many of our markets, and we expect that such factors will continue to reduce consumption levels and will increase down-trading and the risk of counterfeiting, contraband, "illicit whites" and legal cross-border purchases. Significant regulatory developments will continue to take place over the next few years in most of our markets, driven principally by the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control ("FCTC"). Since it came into force in 2005, the FCTC has led to increased efforts by tobacco control advocates and public health organizations to promote increasingly restrictive regulatory measures on the marketing and sale of tobacco products to adult smokers. Regulatory initiatives that have been proposed, introduced or enacted include:

restrictions on or licensing of outlets permitted to sell cigarettes;
the levying of substantial and increasing tax and duty charges;
restrictions or bans on advertising, marketing and sponsorship;
the display of larger health warnings, graphic health warnings and other labeling requirements;
restrictions on packaging design, including the use of colors, and mandating plain packaging;
restrictions on packaging and cigarette formats and dimensions;
restrictions or bans on the display of tobacco product packaging at the point of sale and restrictions or bans on vending machines;
requirements regarding testing, disclosure and performance standards for tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide and other smoke constituents;
disclosure, restrictions, or bans of tobacco product ingredients;
increased restrictions on smoking and use of tobacco and nicotine-containing products in public and work places and, in some instances, in private places and outdoors;
restrictions or prohibitions of novel tobacco or nicotine-containing products;
elimination of duty free sales and duty free allowances for travelers;
encouraging litigation against tobacco companies; and
excluding tobacco companies from transparent public dialogue regarding public health and other policy matters.

Our financial results could be significantly affected by regulatory initiatives resulting in a significant decrease in demand for our brands. More specifically, requirements that lead to a commoditization of tobacco products or impede adult consumers' ability to convert to our RRPs, as well as any significant increase in the cost of complying with new regulatory requirements could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.

Changes in the earnings mix and changes in tax laws may result in significant variability in our effective tax rates. Our ability to receive payments from foreign subsidiaries or to repatriate royalties and dividends could be restricted by local country currency exchange controls and other regulations.
We are subject to income tax laws in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions. The results of the 2020 U.S. presidential and congressional elections could lead to changes in the U.S. tax system, including significant increases in the U.S. corporate income tax rate and the minimum tax rate on certain earnings of foreign subsidiaries. If ultimately enacted into law, such changes could have a material adverse impact on our effective tax rate thereby reducing our net earnings. Further changes in the tax laws of foreign jurisdictions could arise as a result of the base erosion and profit shifting project undertaken by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which recommended changes to numerous long-standing tax principles. If implemented, such changes, as well as changes in taxing jurisdictions’ administrative interpretations, decisions, policies, or positions, could also have a material adverse impact on our effective tax rate thereby reducing our net earnings. In future periods, our ability to recover deferred tax assets could be subject to additional uncertainty as a result of such developments. Furthermore, changes in the earnings mix or applicable foreign tax laws may result in significant variability in our effective tax rates.

Because we are a U.S. holding company, our most significant source of funds is distributions from our non-U.S. subsidiaries. Certain countries in which we operate have adopted or could institute currency exchange controls and other regulations that limit or prohibit our local subsidiaries' ability to convert local currency into U.S. dollars or to make payments outside the country. This could subject us to the risks of local currency devaluation and business disruption.

7


Risks Related to our International Operations

Because we have operations in numerous countries, our results may be adversely impacted by economic, regulatory and political developments, natural disasters, pandemics or conflicts.
Some of the countries in which we operate face the threat of civil unrest and can be subject to regime changes. In others, nationalization, terrorism, conflict and the threat of war may have a significant impact on the business environment. Natural disasters, pandemics, economic, political, regulatory or other developments could disrupt our supply chain, manufacturing capabilities or distribution capabilities. In addition, such developments could increase costs of our materials and operations and lead to loss of property or equipment that are critical to our business in certain markets and difficulty in staffing and managing our operations, all of which could reduce our volumes, revenues and net earnings. We discuss risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic below.

In certain markets, we are dependent on governmental approvals of various actions such as price changes, and failure to obtain such approvals could impair growth of our profitability.

In addition, despite our high ethical standards and rigorous control and compliance procedures aimed at preventing and detecting unlawful conduct, given the breadth and scope of our international operations, we may not be able to detect all potential improper or unlawful conduct by our employees and partners.

Our reported results could be adversely affected by unfavorable currency exchange rates, and currency devaluations could impair our competitiveness.
We conduct our business primarily in local currency and, for purposes of financial reporting, the local currency results are translated into U.S. dollars based on average exchange rates prevailing during a reporting period. During times of a strengthening U.S. dollar, our reported net revenues, operating income and EPS will be reduced because the local currency translates into fewer U.S. dollars. During periods of economic crises, such as during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, foreign currencies may be devalued significantly against the U.S. dollar, reducing our margins. Actions to recover margins may result in lower volume and a weaker competitive position.

Risks Related to Legal Challenges and Investigations

Litigation related to tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke could substantially reduce our profitability and could severely impair our liquidity.
There is litigation related to tobacco products pending in certain jurisdictions in which we operate. Damages claimed in some tobacco-related litigation are significant and, in certain cases in Brazil, Canada, and Nigeria, range into the billions of U.S. dollars. We anticipate that new cases will continue to be filed. The FCTC encourages litigation against tobacco product manufacturers. It is possible that our consolidated results of operations, cash flows or financial position could be materially affected in a particular fiscal quarter or fiscal year by an unfavorable outcome or settlement of certain pending litigation. See Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies to our condensed consolidated financial statements for a discussion of pending litigation and "Business Environment—Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs)—Legal Challenges to RRPs."

From time to time, we are subject to governmental investigations on a range of matters.
Investigations include allegations of contraband shipments of cigarettes, allegations of unlawful pricing activities within certain markets, allegations of underpayment of income taxes, customs duties and/or excise taxes, allegations of false and misleading usage of descriptors, allegations of unlawful advertising, and allegations of unlawful labor practices. We cannot predict the outcome of those investigations or whether additional investigations may be commenced, and it is possible that our business could be materially affected by an unfavorable outcome of pending or future investigations. See Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies—Other Litigation and “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Operating Results by Business Segment—Business Environment—Governmental Investigations” for a description of certain governmental investigations to which we are subject.

We may be unable to adequately protect our intellectual property rights, and disputes relating to intellectual property rights could harm our business.
Our intellectual property rights are valuable assets, and their protection is important to our business. If the steps we take to protect our intellectual property rights globally, including through a combination of trademark, design, patent and other intellectual property rights, are inadequate, or if others infringe or misappropriate our intellectual property rights, notwithstanding legal protection, our business could be adversely impacted. Intellectual property rights of third parties may limit our ability to commercialize our products or improve product quality in one or more markets. Competitors or other third parties may claim that we infringe their intellectual property rights. Any such claims, regardless of merit, could divert management’s attention, be costly, disruptive, time-consuming and unpredictable and expose us to litigation costs and damages, and impede our ability to manufacture, commercialize and improve our products. If, as a result, we are unable to manufacture or sell our RRPs or improve their quality in one or more markets, our ability to
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convert adult smokers to our RRPs in such markets would be adversely affected. See Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies—Other Litigation to our condensed consolidated financial statements for a description of certain intellectual property proceedings.

Risks Related to our Competitive Environment

We face intense competition, and our failure to compete effectively could have a material adverse effect on our profitability and results of operations.
We are subject to highly competitive conditions in all aspects of our business. We compete primarily on the basis of product quality, brand recognition, brand loyalty, taste, R&D, innovation, packaging, customer service, marketing, advertising and retail price and, increasingly, adult smoker willingness to convert to our RRPs. The competitive environment and our competitive position can be significantly influenced by weak economic conditions, erosion of consumer confidence, competitors' introduction of lower-price products or innovative products, higher tobacco product taxes, higher absolute prices and larger gaps between retail price categories, and product regulation that diminishes the ability to differentiate tobacco products and restricts adult consumer access to truthful and non-misleading information about our RRPs. Competitors include three large international tobacco companies, new market entrants, particularly with respect to innovative products, several regional and local tobacco companies and, in some instances, state-owned tobacco enterprises, principally in Algeria, Egypt, the PRC, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Industry consolidation and privatizations of state-owned enterprises have led to an overall increase in competitive pressures. Some competitors have different profit and volume objectives, and some international competitors are susceptible to changes in different currency exchange rates. Certain new market entrants may alienate consumers from innovative products through inappropriate marketing campaigns, messaging and inferior product satisfaction, while not relying on scientific substantiation based on appropriate R&D protocols and standards. The growing use of digital media could increase the speed and extent of the dissemination of inaccurate and misleading information about our RRPs.

We may be unable to anticipate changes in adult consumer preferences.
Our business is subject to changes in adult consumer preferences, which may be influenced by local economic conditions.

To be successful, we must:
promote brand equity successfully;
anticipate and respond to new adult consumer trends;
develop new products and markets and broaden brand portfolios;
improve productivity;
convince adult smokers to convert to our RRPs;
ensure effective adult consumer engagement, including communication about product characteristics and usage of RRPs;
provide excellent customer care;
ensure adequate production capacity to meet demand for our products; and
be able to protect or enhance margins through price increases.

In periods of economic uncertainty, adult consumers may tend to purchase lower-price brands, and the volume of our premium-price and mid-price brands and our profitability could be materially adversely impacted as a result. Such down-trading trends may be reinforced by regulation that limits branding, communication and product differentiation.

Our ability to grow profitability may be limited by our inability to introduce new products, enter new markets or improve our margins through higher pricing and improvements in our brand and geographic mix.
Our profit growth may be adversely impacted if we are unable to introduce new products or enter new markets successfully, to raise prices or to improve the proportion of our sales of higher margin products and in higher margin geographies.

We may be unable to expand our brand portfolio through successful acquisitions or the development of strategic business relationships.
One element of our growth strategy is to strengthen our brand portfolio and market positions through selective acquisitions and the development of strategic business relationships. Acquisition and strategic business development opportunities are limited and present risks of failing to achieve efficient and effective integration, strategic objectives and anticipated revenue improvements and cost savings. There is no assurance that we will be able to acquire attractive businesses on favorable terms, or that future acquisitions or strategic business developments will be accretive to earnings.

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Our ability to achieve our strategic goals may be impaired if we fail to attract, motivate and retain the best global talent and effectively align our organizational design with the goals of our transformation.
To be successful, we must continue transforming our culture and ways of working, align our talent and organizational design with our increasingly complex business needs, and innovate and transform to a consumer-centric business. We compete for talent, including in areas that are new to us, such as digital and technical solutions, with companies in the consumer products, technology and other sectors that enjoy greater societal acceptance. As a result, we may be unable to attract, motivate and retain the best global talent with the right degree of diversity, experience and skills to achieve our strategic goals.

Risks Related to the Impact of COVID-19 on our Business

Our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial position will be adversely impacted during the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 have and will continue to adversely impact our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial position while the pandemic continues. Our business continuity plans and other safeguards may not be effective to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

Currently, significant risks include our diminished ability to convert adult smokers to our RRPs, 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 and the willingness of adult consumers to switch to our RRPs, and adversely impact 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 COVID-19 pandemic in general and specifically in the jurisdictions in which we operate, its recurrence in our key markets, actions taken to contain its spread and to mitigate its public health effects, and the ultimate economic consequences thereof.

Risks Related to Sourcing of Materials, Products and Services

Use of third-party resources may negatively impact quality of our products and services, and we may be required to replace third-party contract manufacturers or service providers with our own resources.
We increasingly rely on third-party resources to manufacture some of our products and product parts (particularly, the electronic devices and accessories) and to provide services, including to support our finance and information technology processes. While many of these arrangements improve efficiencies and decrease our operating costs, they also diminish our direct control. Such diminished control may have an adverse effect on the quality of products or services, our supply chain, and the speed and flexibility in our response to changing market conditions and adult consumer preferences, all of which may place us at a competitive disadvantage. In addition, we may be unable to renew these agreements on satisfactory terms for numerous reasons, including government regulations, and our costs may increase significantly if we must replace such third parties with our own resources.

Government mandated prices, production control programs, shifts in crops driven by economic conditions and the impact of climate change may increase the cost or reduce the quality of the tobacco and other agricultural products used to manufacture our products.
As with other agricultural commodities, the price of tobacco leaf and cloves can be influenced by imbalances in supply and demand and the impacts of natural disasters and pandemics such as COVID-19. Furthermore, crop quality may be influenced by variations in weather patterns, including those caused by climate change. Tobacco production in certain countries is subject to a variety of controls, including government mandated prices and production control programs. Changes in the patterns of demand for agricultural products could cause farmers to produce less tobacco or cloves. Any significant change in tobacco leaf and clove prices, quality and quantity could affect our profitability and our business.

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Risks Related to the Success of our Reduced-Risk Products

The financial and business performance of our reduced-risk products is less predictable than our cigarette business.
Our RRPs are novel products in a new category, and the pace at which adult smokers adopt them may vary, depending on the competitive, regulatory, fiscal and cultural environment, and other factors in a specific market. There may be periods of accelerated growth and periods of slower growth for these products, the timing and drivers of which may be more difficult for us to predict versus our mature cigarette business. The impact of this lower predictability on our projected results for a specific period may be significant, particularly during the early stages of this new product category and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We may be unsuccessful in our attempts to introduce reduced-risk products, and regulators may not permit the commercialization of these products or the communication of scientifically substantiated information and claims.
Our key strategic priorities are: to develop and commercialize products that present less risk of harm to adult smokers who switch to those products versus continued smoking; and to convince current adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch to those RRPs. For our efforts to be successful, we must:

develop RRPs that such adult smokers find acceptable alternatives to smoking;
conduct rigorous scientific studies to substantiate that they reduce exposure to harmful and potentially harmful constituents in smoke and, ultimately, that these products present, are likely to present, or have the potential to present less risk of harm to adult smokers who switch to them versus continued smoking; and
effectively advocate for the development of science-based regulatory frameworks for the development and commercialization of RRPs, including communication of scientifically substantiated information to enable adult smokers to make better consumer choices.

We might not succeed in our efforts. If we do not succeed, but others do, or if heat-not-burn products are inequitably regulated compared to other RRP categories without regard to the totality of the scientific evidence available for such products, we may be at a competitive disadvantage. In addition, actions of some market entrants, such as the inappropriate marketing of e-vapor products to youth, as well as alleged health consequences associated with the use of certain e-vapor products, may unfavorably impact public opinion and/or mischaracterize all e-vapor products or other RRPs to consumers, regulators and policy makers without regard to the totality of scientific evidence for specific products. This may impede our efforts to advocate for the development of science-based regulatory frameworks for the development and commercialization of RRPs. We cannot predict whether regulators will permit the sale and/or marketing of RRPs with scientifically substantiated information and claims. Such restrictions could limit the success of our RRPs.

Our RRPs and commercial activities for these products are designed for, and directed toward, current adult smokers and users of nicotine-containing products, and not for non-smokers or youth. If nonetheless there is a significant usage of our products or competitive products among youth or non-smokers, even in situations over which we have no control, our credibility may suffer, and our efforts to advocate for the development of science-based regulatory frameworks for the commercialization of RRPs may be significantly impacted.

Moreover, the FDA’s premarket tobacco product and modified risk tobacco product authorizations of a version of our Platform 1 product are subject to strict marketing, reporting and other requirements. Although we have received these product authorizations from the FDA, there is no guarantee that the product will remain authorized, particularly if there is a significant uptake in youth or non-smoker initiation.

We may be unsuccessful in our efforts to differentiate reduced-risk products and cigarettes with respect to taxation.
To date, we have been largely successful in demonstrating to regulators that our RRPs are not cigarettes due to the absence of combustion, and as such they are generally taxed either as a separate category or as other tobacco products, which typically yields more favorable tax rates than cigarettes. If we cease to be successful in these efforts, RRP unit margins may be adversely affected.

Risks Related to Illicit Trade

We lose revenues as a result of counterfeiting, contraband, cross-border purchases, "illicit whites," non-tax-paid volume produced by local manufacturers, and counterfeiting of our Platform 1 device and heated tobacco units.
Large quantities of counterfeit cigarettes are sold in the international market. We believe that Marlboro is the most heavily counterfeited international cigarette brand, although we cannot quantify the revenues we lose as a result of this activity. In addition, our revenues are reduced by contraband, legal cross-border purchases, "illicit whites" and non-tax-paid volume produced by local
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manufacturers. Our revenues and consumer satisfaction with our Platform 1 device and heated tobacco units may be adversely affected by counterfeit products that do not meet our product quality standards and scientific validation procedures.

Risks Related to Cybersecurity and Data Governance

The failure of our information systems to function as intended or their penetration with the intent to corrupt them or our failure to adhere to strict data governance and cybersecurity protocols and to comply with privacy laws and regulations could result in business disruption, loss of reputation, litigation and regulatory action, and loss of revenue, assets or personal or other confidential data.
We use information systems to help manage business processes, collect and interpret data and communicate internally and externally with employees, suppliers, consumers, customers and others. Some of these information systems are managed by third-party service providers. We have backup systems and business continuity plans in place, and we work with our internal specialists and these third-party service providers to protect these systems and data from unauthorized access. Nevertheless, failure of these systems to function as intended, or penetration of these systems by parties intent on extracting or corrupting information or otherwise disrupting business processes, could place us at a competitive disadvantage, result in a loss of revenue, assets or personal or other sensitive data, litigation and regulatory action, cause damage to our reputation and that of our brands and result in significant remediation and other costs. Failure to protect personal data, respect the rights of data subjects, and adhere to strict data governance and cybersecurity protocols could subject us to substantial fines and other legal challenges under regulations such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation. As we are increasingly relying on digital platforms in our business, and as privacy laws in the jurisdictions in which we do business become more stringent, the magnitude of these risks is likely to increase.


Item 1B.Unresolved Staff Comments.
 
None.


Item 2. Properties.
 
We own or lease various manufacturing, office and research and development facilities in locations primarily outside the United States. We own properties in Switzerland where our operations center and state-of-the-art research and development facility are located.

At December 31, 2020, we operated and owned a total of 39 manufacturing facilities across our six operating segments. Among them, 7 factories produced heated tobacco units.

In 2020, certain facilities each manufactured over 30 billion units (cigarettes and heated tobacco units combined). The largest manufacturing facilities, in terms of volume, are located in Indonesia (S&SA), Poland (EU), Turkey (ME&A), Russia (EE), the Philippines (S&SA), Lithuania (EU), Italy (EU), the Czech Republic (EU) and Portugal (EU). As part of our global operating model, products manufactured in a particular manufacturing facility are not necessarily distributed in the operating segment where the facility is located.

We have integrated the production of our heated tobacco units into a number of our existing manufacturing facilities, and we are progressing with our plans to build manufacturing capacity for our other RRP platforms. We will continue to optimize our manufacturing infrastructure.

We believe the properties owned or leased by our subsidiaries are maintained in good condition and are believed to be suitable and adequate for our present needs.


Item 3.Legal Proceedings.

The information called for by this Item is incorporated herein by reference to Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies.

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Item 4.Mine Safety Disclosures.
 
Not applicable.


PART II

 
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
 

The principal stock exchange on which our common stock (no par value) is listed is the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol "PM"). At January 29, 2021, there were approximately 48,300 holders of record of our common stock.
 


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Performance Graph

The graph below compares the cumulative total shareholder return on PMI's common stock with the cumulative total return for the same period of PMI's Peer Group and the S&P 500 Index. The graph assumes the investment of $100 as of December 31, 2015, in PMI common stock (at prices quoted on the New York Stock Exchange) and each of the indices as of the market close and reinvestment of dividends on a quarterly basis.

PM-20201231_G1.JPG
Date PMI
PMI Peer Group (1)
S&P 500 Index
December 31, 2015 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00
December 31, 2016 $108.60 $101.70 $112.00
December 31, 2017 $130.20 $119.60 $136.40
December 31, 2018 $86.90 $107.80 $130.40
December 31, 2019 $117.30 $133.50 $171.50
December 31, 2020 $121.80 $143.10 $203.00

(1) The PMI Peer Group presented in this graph is the same as that used in the prior year. The PMI Peer Group was established based on a review of four characteristics: global presence; a focus on consumer products; and net revenues and a market capitalization of a similar size to those of PMI. The review also considered the primary international tobacco companies. As a result of this review, the following companies constitute the PMI Peer Group: Altria Group, Inc., Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, British American Tobacco p.l.c., The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Co., Diageo plc, Heineken N.V., Imperial Brands PLC, Japan Tobacco Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, The Kraft-Heinz Company, McDonald's Corp., Mondelēz International, Inc., Nestlé S.A., PepsiCo, Inc., The Procter & Gamble Company, Roche Holding AG, and Unilever NV and PLC.
Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest $0.10.
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Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities During the Quarter Ended December 31, 2020

Our share repurchase activity for each of the three months in the quarter ended December 31, 2020, was as follows:
 
Period Total
Number of
Shares
Repurchased
Average
Price Paid
per Share
Total Number
of Shares
Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced
Plans or
Programs
Approximate
Dollar Value
of Shares that
May Yet be
Purchased
Under the Plans
or Programs
October 1, 2020 –
October 31, 2020 (1)
—  $ —  —  $ — 
November 1, 2020 –
November 30, 2020 (1)
—  $ —  —  $ — 
December 1, 2020 –
December 31, 2020 (1)
—  $ —  —  $ — 
Pursuant to Publicly Announced
   Plans or Programs
—  $ —     
October 1, 2020 –
October 31, 2020 (2)
1,126  $ 75.97     
November 1, 2020 –
November 30, 2020 (2)
3,139  $ 70.54     
December 1, 2020 –
December 31, 2020 (2)
1,155  $ 75.82     
For the Quarter Ended
December 31, 2020
5,420  $ 72.79     
 
(1)During this reporting period, we did not have an authorized share repurchase program.
(2)Shares repurchased represent shares tendered to us by employees who vested in restricted and performance share unit awards and used shares to pay all, or a portion of, the related taxes.



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Item 6.     Selected Financial Data.

(in millions of dollars, except per share data)
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Summary of Operations:
Revenues including excise taxes
$ 76,047  $ 77,921  $ 79,823  $ 78,098  $ 74,953 
Excise taxes on products
47,353  48,116  50,198  49,350  48,268 
Net revenues
28,694  29,805  29,625  28,748  26,685 
Operating income
11,668  10,531  11,377  11,581  10,903 
Net earnings attributable to PMI
8,056  7,185  7,911  6,035  6,967 
Basic earnings per share
5.16  4.61  5.08  3.88  4.48 
Diluted earnings per share
5.16  4.61  5.08  3.88  4.48 
Dividends declared per share
4.74  4.62  4.49  4.22  4.12 
Total assets
44,815  42,875  39,801  42,968  36,851 
Long-term debt (1)
28,168  26,656  26,975  31,334  25,851 
Total debt
31,536  31,045  31,759  34,339  29,067 
 
(1) Excluding current portion of long-term debt.

This Selected Financial Data should be read in conjunction with Item 7 and Item 8.

Item 7.Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
 
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the other sections of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including the consolidated financial statements and related notes contained in Item 8, and the discussion of risks and cautionary factors that may affect future results in Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Description of Our Company

We are leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to the benefit of adults who would otherwise continue to smoke, society, the company and its shareholders. We are a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, as well as smoke-free products, associated electronic devices and accessories, and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the United States. In addition, we ship versions of our Platform 1 device and consumables to Altria Group, Inc. for sale under license in the United States, where these products have received marketing authorizations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") under the premarket tobacco product application ("PMTA") pathway; the FDA has also authorized the marketing of a version of our Platform 1 device and its consumables as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product ("MRTP"), finding that an exposure modification order for these products is appropriate to promote the public health. We are building a future on a new category of smoke-free products that, while not risk-free, are a much better choice than continuing to smoke.  Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities and scientific substantiation, we aim to ensure that our smoke-free products meet adult consumer preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. Our smoke-free product portfolio includes heat-not-burn and nicotine-containing vapor products.

We manage our business in six operating segments:
 
European Union ("EU");
Eastern Europe ("EE");
Middle East & Africa ("ME&A"), which includes our international duty free business;
South & Southeast Asia ("S&SA");
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East Asia & Australia ("EA&A"); and
Latin America & Canada ("LA&C"), which includes transactions under license with Altria Group, Inc. for the distribution of our Platform 1 product in the United States.

Our cigarettes are sold in more than 175 markets, and in many of these markets they hold the number one or number two market share position. We have a wide range of premium, mid-price and low-price brands. Our portfolio comprises both international and local brands. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, we are engaged in the development and commercialization of reduced-risk products ("RRPs"). RRPs is the term we use to refer to products that present, are likely to present, or have the potential to present less risk of harm to smokers who switch to these products versus continuing smoking. 

We use the term net revenues to refer to our operating revenues from the sale of our products, including shipping and handling charges billed to customers, net of sales and promotion incentives, and excise taxes. Our net revenues and operating income are affected by various factors, including the volume of products we sell, the price of our products, changes in currency exchange rates and the mix of products we sell. Mix is a term used to refer to the proportionate value of premium-price brands to mid-price or low-price brands in any given market (product mix). Mix can also refer to the proportion of shipment volume in more profitable markets versus shipment volume in less profitable markets (geographic mix).

Our cost of sales consists principally of: tobacco leaf, non-tobacco raw materials, labor and manufacturing costs; shipping and handling costs; and the cost of devices produced by third-party electronics manufacturing service providers. Estimated costs associated with device warranty programs are generally provided for in cost of sales in the period the related revenues are recognized.

Our marketing, administration and research costs include the costs of marketing and selling our products, other costs generally not related to the manufacture of our products (including general corporate expenses), and costs incurred to develop new products. The most significant components of our marketing, administration and research costs are marketing and sales expenses and general and administrative expenses.

Philip Morris International Inc. is a legal entity separate and distinct from its direct and indirect subsidiaries. Accordingly, our right, and thus the right of our creditors and stockholders, to participate in any distribution of the assets or earnings of any subsidiary is subject to the prior rights of creditors of such subsidiary, except to the extent that claims of our company itself as a creditor may be recognized. As a holding company, our principal sources of funds, including funds to make payment on our debt securities, are from the receipt of dividends and repayment of debt from our subsidiaries. Our principal wholly owned and majority-owned subsidiaries currently are not limited by long-term debt or other agreements in their ability to pay cash dividends or to make other distributions that are otherwise compliant with law.


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Executive Summary

The following executive summary provides the business update and significant highlights from the Discussion and Analysis that follows.

Consolidated Operating Results

Net Revenues – Net revenues of $28.7 billion for the year ended December 31, 2020, decreased by $1.1 billion, or 3.7%, from the comparable 2019 amount, and were impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the second quarter of 2020 and continuing throughout the second half of the year. The change in our net revenues from the comparable 2019 amount was driven by the following (variances not to scale):
PM-20201231_G2.JPG

Net revenues, excluding unfavorable currency, decreased by 2.2%, reflecting: unfavorable volume/mix, primarily due to lower cigarette volume (mainly in Argentina, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, PMI Duty Free, Poland, Russia and Ukraine, partly offset by Germany), partially offset by higher heated tobacco unit volume (notably in the EU, Japan, Russia and Ukraine, partly offset by PMI Duty Free); and the unfavorable impact of $253 million, shown in "Cost/Other," mainly resulting from the deconsolidation of our Canadian subsidiary, Rothman, Benson & Hedges, Inc. ("RBH"), effective March 22, 2019, and lower fees for certain distribution rights billed to customers in certain markets; partly offset by a favorable pricing variance (notably driven by the Gulf Cooperation Council, Germany, Japan, Mexico, North Africa, the Philippines, PMI Duty Free, Russia and Ukraine, partially offset by Indonesia, Poland and Turkey). For further details on the deconsolidation of RBH, see Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies and Note 20. Deconsolidation of RBH. The Gulf Cooperation Council ("GCC") is defined as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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Net revenues by product category for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, are shown below:

PM-20201231_G3.JPG          PM-20201231_G4.JPG

Diluted Earnings Per Share The changes in our reported diluted earnings per share (“diluted EPS”) for the year ended December 31, 2020, from the comparable 2019 amounts, were as follows:
Diluted EPS % Growth
(Decline)
For the year ended December 31, 2019 $ 4.61 
2019 Asset impairment and exit costs 0.23 
2019 Canadian tobacco litigation-related expense 0.09 
2019 Loss on deconsolidation of RBH 0.12 
2019 Russia excise and VAT audit charge 0.20 
2019 Fair value adjustment for equity security investments (0.02)
2019 Tax items (0.04)
       Subtotal of 2019 items 0.58 
2020 Asset impairment and exit costs (0.08)
2020 Brazil indirect tax credit 0.05 
2020 Fair value adjustment for equity security investments (0.04)
2020 Tax items 0.06 
       Subtotal of 2020 items (0.01)
Currency (0.32)
Interest (0.02)
Change in tax rate 0.05 
Operations 0.27 
For the year ended December 31, 2020 $ 5.16  11.9  %

Asset impairment and exit costs – During 2019, as part of the optimization of our global manufacturing infrastructure, we recorded pre-tax asset impairment and exit costs of $422 million, representing $362 million net of income tax and a diluted EPS charge of $0.23 per share. This 2019 charge primarily related to a cigarette plant closure in Berlin, Germany (approximately $0.19 per share), as well as the closure of cigarette plants in Argentina, Colombia and Pakistan. During 2020, we recorded pre-tax asset impairment and exit costs of $149 million, representing $124 million net of income tax and a diluted EPS charge of
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$0.08 per share, related to the organizational design optimization plan, primarily in Switzerland. The total pre-tax charges in 2019 and 2020 were included in marketing, administration and research costs on the consolidated statements of earnings. For further details, see Item 8, Note 19. Asset Impairment and Exit Costs.

Canadian tobacco litigation-related expense In the first quarter of 2019, we recorded a pre-tax charge of $194 million, representing $142 million net of tax, relating to the judgment against RBH in two Québec smoking and health class actions. The charge of $0.09 per share reflects our assessment of the portion of the judgment that represents a probable and estimable loss prior to the deconsolidation of RBH and corresponds to the trust account deposit required by the judgment. The total pre-tax charge was included in marketing, administration and research costs on the consolidated statements of earnings and was included in the operating income of the Latin America & Canada segment. For further details, see Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies and Item 8, Note 20. Deconsolidation of RBH.

Loss on deconsolidation of RBH Following the judgment in the two Québec smoking and health class actions, RBH obtained an initial order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granting it protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”), which is a Canadian federal law that permits a Canadian business to restructure its affairs while carrying on its business in the ordinary course with minimal disruption to its customers, suppliers and employees. The administration of the CCAA process, principally relating to the powers provided to the court and the court appointed monitor, removes certain elements of control of the business from both PMI and RBH. As a result, we have determined that we no longer have a controlling financial interest over RBH and that we do not exert "significant influence" over RBH under U.S. GAAP. Therefore, we deconsolidated RBH as of the date of the CCAA filing on March 22, 2019, and have accounted for our continuing investment in RBH as an equity security, without readily determinable fair value.

A loss on the deconsolidation of RBH of $239 million was included in marketing, administration and research costs on the consolidated statements of earnings for the year ended December 31, 2019, and was included in the operating income of the Latin America & Canada segment. The $0.12 per share impact also included a tax benefit of $49 million within the provision for income taxes, as discussed below, related to the reversal of a deferred tax liability on the unremitted earnings of RBH. For further details, see Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies and Item 8, Note 20. Deconsolidation of RBH.

Russia excise and VAT audit charge – As a result of the final tax assessment for the 2015-2017 financial years received by our Russian affiliate, in the third quarter of 2019, PMI recorded a pre-tax charge of $374 million in marketing, administration and research costs in the consolidated statements of earnings, representing $315 million net of income tax and a diluted EPS charge of $0.20. The pre-tax charge of $374 million was included in the operating income of the Eastern Europe segment. For further details, see Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies.

Brazil indirect tax credit - Following a final and enforceable decision by the highest court in Brazil in October 2020, PMI recorded a gain of $119 million for tax credits ($79 million net of income tax and $0.05 per share increase in diluted EPS) representing overpayments of indirect taxes for the period from March 2012 through December 2019; these tax credits will be applied to future tax liabilities in Brazil. This amount was included as a reduction in marketing, administration and research costs in the consolidated statements of earnings for the year ended December 31, 2020 and was included in the operating income of the Latin America & Canada segment. A decision regarding an additional amount of overpaid indirect taxes of approximately $90 million is still pending before this court.

Fair Value adjustment for equity security investments – In the fourth quarter of 2019, PMI recorded a favorable fair value adjustment for its equity security investments of $35 million after tax (or $0.02 per share increase in diluted EPS).  The fair value adjustment for its equity security investments was included in equity investments and securities (income)/loss, net ($44 million income) and provision for income taxes ($9 million expense) on the consolidated statements of earnings in 2019. During 2020, we recorded an unfavorable fair value adjustment for our equity security investments of $60 million after tax (or $0.04 per share decrease in diluted EPS). The fair value adjustment for our equity security investments was included in equity investments and securities (income)/loss, net ($76 million loss) and provision for income taxes ($16 million benefit) on the consolidated statements of earnings. For further details, see Item 8, Note 4. Related Parties - Equity Investments and Other.

Income taxes – The 2019 Tax items that increased our 2019 diluted EPS by $0.04 per share in the table above were primarily due to a reduction in estimated U.S. federal income tax on dividend repatriation for the years 2015 - 2018 ($67 million). The 2020 Tax items that increased our 2020 diluted EPS by $0.06 per share in the table above were due to final U.S. tax regulations under the Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income ("GILTI") provisions of the Internal Revenue Code for years 2018 and 2019 ($93 million). For further details, see Item 8, Note 11. Income Taxes.

The change in the tax rate that increased our diluted EPS by $0.05 per share in the table above was primarily due to changes in earnings mix by taxing jurisdiction, a reduction of U.S. state tax expense and the corporate income tax rate reduction in Indonesia,
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partially offset by a decrease in deductions related to foreign-derived intangible income for the years 2018 and 2019 and repatriation cost differences. For further details, see Item 8, Note 11. Income Taxes.

Currency – The unfavorable currency impact during 2020 results from the fluctuations of the U.S. dollar, especially against the Argentine peso, Brazilian real, Indonesian rupiah, Mexican peso, Russian ruble, Swiss franc and Turkish lira, partially offset by the Egyptian pound, Japanese yen and Philippine peso. This unfavorable currency movement has impacted our profitability across our primary revenue markets and local currency cost bases.

Interest – The unfavorable impact of interest was due primarily to lower interest earned on cash balances.

Operations – The increase in diluted EPS of $0.27 from our operations in the table above was due primarily to the following segments:

European Union: Favorable volume/mix, favorable pricing and lower manufacturing costs, partially offset by higher marketing, administration and research costs;
East Asia & Australia: Lower marketing, administration and research costs, lower manufacturing costs and favorable pricing, partially offset by unfavorable volume/mix; and
Eastern Europe: Favorable pricing, favorable volume/mix and lower manufacturing costs, partially offset by higher marketing, administration and research costs ;
partially offset by
Middle East & Africa: Unfavorable volume/mix and lower fees for certain distribution rights billed to customers in certain markets, partially offset by favorable pricing, and lower marketing, administration and research costs;
South & Southeast Asia: Unfavorable volume/mix and unfavorable pricing, partially offset by lower marketing, administration and research costs; and
Latin America & Canada: Unfavorable volume/mix, as well as the unfavorable impact resulting from the deconsolidation of RBH, partially offset by favorable pricing and lower marketing, administration and research costs.

For further details, see the Consolidated Operating Results and Operating Results by Business Segment sections of the following Discussion and Analysis.

COVID-19 Impact on Our Business

COVID-19: Business Continuity Update

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, PMI has undertaken a number of business continuity measures to mitigate potential disruption to its operations and route-to-market in order to preserve the availability of products to its customers and adult consumers.

Currently:

PMI has sufficient access to the inputs for its products and is not facing any significant business continuity issues with respect to key suppliers;
All of of PMI's cigarette and heated tobacco unit manufacturing facilities globally are operational;
COVID-related restrictions do not have a significant impact on the availability of PMI's products to its customers and adult consumers; and
PMI has sufficient liquidity resources through cash on hand, the ongoing cash generation of its business, and its access to the commercial paper and debt markets.
Nonetheless, significant uncertainty remains as the spread of the disease is increasing in a number of markets, resulting in additional restrictions and increasing risk of disruptions.

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Discussion and Analysis

Critical Accounting Estimates

Item 8, Note 2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies to our consolidated financial statements includes a summary of the significant accounting policies and methods used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. In most instances, we must use a particular accounting policy or method because it is the only one that is permitted under U.S. GAAP.

The preparation of financial statements requires that we use estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of our assets, liabilities, net revenues and expenses, as well as our disclosure of contingencies. If actual amounts differ from previous estimates, we include the revisions in our consolidated results of operations in the period during which we know the actual amounts. Historically, aggregate differences, if any, between our estimates and actual amounts in any year have not had a significant impact on our consolidated financial statements.

The selection and disclosure of our critical accounting estimates have been discussed with our Audit Committee. The following is a discussion of the more significant assumptions, estimates, accounting policies and methods used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements:

Revenue Recognition - We recognize revenue as performance obligations are satisfied. Our primary performance obligation is the distribution and sales of cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products, including reduced-risk products. Our performance obligations are typically satisfied upon shipment or delivery to our customers. The company estimates the cost of sales returns based on historical experience, and these estimates are immaterial. Estimated costs associated with warranty programs for IQOS devices are generally provided for in cost of sales in the period the related revenues are recognized, based on a number of factors, including historical experience, product failure rates and warranty policies. The transaction price is typically based on the amount billed to the customer and includes estimated variable consideration where applicable. Such variable consideration is typically not constrained and is estimated based on the most likely amount that PMI expects to be entitled to under the terms of the contracts with customers, historical experience of discount or rebate redemption, where relevant, and the terms of any underlying discount or rebate programs, which may change from time to time as the business and product categories evolve.

Inventories - Our inventories are valued at the lower of cost or market based upon assumptions about future demand and market conditions.  The valuation of inventory also requires us to estimate obsolete and excess inventory.  We perform regular reviews of our inventory on hand, as well as our future purchase commitments with our suppliers, considering multiple factors, including demand forecasts, product life cycle, current sales levels, pricing strategy and cost trends. If our review indicates that inventories of raw materials, components or finished products have become obsolete or are in excess of anticipated demand or that inventory cost exceeds net realizable value, we may be required to make adjustments that will impact the results of operations. 

Goodwill and Non-Amortizable Intangible Assets Valuation - We test goodwill and non-amortizable intangible assets for impairment annually or more frequently if events occur that would warrant such review. While the company has the option to perform a qualitative assessment for both goodwill and non-amortizable intangible assets to determine if it is more likely than not that an impairment exists, the company elects to perform the quantitative assessment for our annual impairment analysis. The impairment analysis involves comparing the fair value of each reporting unit or non-amortizable intangible asset to the carrying value. If the carrying value exceeds the fair value, goodwill or a non-amortizable intangible asset is considered impaired. To determine the fair value of goodwill, we primarily use the market approach using earnings multiples of comparable global companies within the tobacco industry, supported by a discounted cash flow model. At December 31, 2020, the carrying value of our goodwill was $6.0 billion, which is related to ten reporting units, each of which consists of a group of markets with similar operating and economic characteristics. The estimated fair value of each of our ten reporting units exceeded the carrying value as of December 31, 2020. To determine the fair value of non-amortizable intangible assets, we primarily use a discounted cash flow model applying the relief-from-royalty method. We concluded that the fair value of our non-amortizable intangible assets exceeded the carrying value. These discounted cash flow models include management assumptions relevant for forecasting operating cash flows, which are subject to changes in business conditions, such as volumes and prices, costs to produce, discount rates and estimated capital needs. Management considers historical experience and all available information at the time the fair values are estimated, and we believe these assumptions are consistent with the assumptions a hypothetical marketplace participant would use. Since the March 28, 2008, spin-off from Altria Group, Inc., we have not recorded a charge to earnings for an impairment of goodwill or non-amortizable intangible assets.

Marketing Costs - We incur certain costs to support our products through programs that include advertising, marketing, consumer engagement and trade promotions. The costs of our advertising and marketing programs are expensed in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Recognition of the cost related to our consumer engagement and trade promotion programs contain uncertainties due to the
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judgment required in estimating the potential performance and compliance for each program. For volume-based incentives provided to customers, management continually assesses and estimates, by customer, the likelihood of the customer's achieving the specified targets, and records the reduction of revenue as the sales are made. For other trade promotions, management relies on estimated utilization rates that have been developed from historical experience. Changes in the assumptions used in estimating the cost of any individual marketing program would not result in a material change in our financial position, results of operations or operating cash flows.

Employee Benefit Plans - As discussed in Item 8, Note 13. Benefit Plans to our consolidated financial statements, we provide a range of benefits to our employees and retired employees, including pensions, postretirement health care and postemployment benefits (primarily severance). We record annual amounts relating to these plans based on calculations specified by U.S. GAAP. These calculations include various actuarial assumptions, such as discount rates, assumed rates of return on plan assets, compensation increases, mortality, turnover rates and health care cost trend rates. We review actuarial assumptions on an annual basis and make modifications to the assumptions based on current rates and trends when it is deemed appropriate to do so. As permitted by U.S. GAAP, any effect of the modifications is generally amortized over future periods. We believe that the assumptions utilized in calculating our obligations under these plans are reasonable based upon our historical experience and advice from our actuaries.

Weighted-average discount rate assumptions for pension and postretirement plan obligations at December 31, 2020 and 2019 are as follows:
2020 2019
Pension plans 0.56% 0.83%
Postretirement plans 2.84% 3.28%

We anticipate that assumption changes will increase 2021 pre-tax pension and postretirement expense to approximately $300 million as compared with approximately $264 million in 2020, excluding amounts related to employee severance and early retirement programs. The anticipated increase is primarily due to higher amortization of unrecognized actuarial gains/losses of $50 million, coupled with higher service cost of $24 million, partially offset by lower interest cost of $18 million and higher expected return on plan assets of $17 million and other movements of $3 million.

Weighted-average expected rate of return and discount rate assumptions have a significant effect on the amount of expense reported for the employee benefit plans.  A fifty-basis-point decrease in our discount rate would increase our 2021 pension and postretirement expense by approximately $80 million, and a fifty-basis-point increase in our discount rate would decrease our 2021 pension and postretirement expense by approximately $70 million. Similarly, a fifty-basis-point decrease (increase) in the expected return on plan assets would increase (decrease) our 2021 pension expense by approximately $40 million.

Income Taxes - Income tax provisions for jurisdictions outside the United States, as well as state and local income tax provisions, are determined on a separate company basis, and the related assets and liabilities are recorded in our consolidated balance sheets.

The extent of our operations involves dealing with uncertainties and judgments in the application of complex tax regulations in a multitude of jurisdictions. The final taxes paid are dependent upon many factors, including negotiations with taxing authorities in various jurisdictions and resolution of disputes arising from federal, state, and international tax audits. In accordance with the authoritative guidance for income taxes, we evaluate potential tax exposures and record tax liabilities for anticipated tax audit issues based on our estimate of whether, and the extent to which, additional taxes will be due. We adjust these reserves in light of changing facts and circumstances; however, due to the complexity of some of these uncertainties, the ultimate resolution may result in a payment that is materially different from our current estimate of the tax liabilities. If our estimate of tax liabilities proves to be less than the ultimate assessment, an additional charge to expense would result. If payment of these amounts ultimately proves to be less than the recorded amounts, the reversal of the liabilities would result in tax benefits being recognized in the period when we determine the liabilities are no longer necessary.

We are required to assess the likelihood of recovering deferred tax assets against future sources of taxable income.  If we determine, using all available evidence, that we do not reach the more likely than not threshold for recovery, a valuation allowance is recorded.  Significant judgment is required in determining the need for and amount of valuation allowances for deferred tax assets including estimates of future taxable income in the applicable jurisdictions and the feasibility of on-going tax planning strategies, as applicable. 

The effective tax rates used for interim reporting are based on our full-year geographic earnings mix projections. Changes in currency exchange rates, earnings mix by taxing jurisdiction or future regulatory developments may have an impact on the effective tax rates. Significant judgment is required in determining income tax provisions and in evaluating tax positions.

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For further details, see Item 8, Note 11. Income Taxes to our consolidated financial statements.

Hedging - As discussed below in “Market Risk,” we use derivative financial instruments principally to reduce exposures to market risks resulting from fluctuations in foreign currency exchange and interest rates by creating offsetting exposures. For derivatives to which we have elected to apply hedge accounting, gains and losses on these derivatives are initially deferred in accumulated other comprehensive losses on the consolidated balance sheet and recognized in the consolidated statement of earnings into the same line item as the impact of the underlying transaction and in the periods when the related hedged transactions are also recognized in operating results. If we had elected not to use the hedge accounting provisions, gains (losses) deferred in stockholders’ (deficit) equity would have been recorded in our net earnings for these derivatives.

Fair value of non-marketable equity securities - For further details, see Item 8, Note 20. Deconsolidation of RBH.

Contingencies - As discussed in Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies to our consolidated financial statements, legal proceedings covering a wide range of matters are pending or threatened against us, and/or our subsidiaries, and/or our indemnitees in various jurisdictions. We and our subsidiaries record provisions in the consolidated financial statements for pending litigation when we determine that an unfavorable outcome is probable and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. The variability in pleadings in multiple jurisdictions, together with the actual experience of management in litigating claims, demonstrate that the monetary relief that may be specified in a lawsuit bears little relevance to the ultimate outcome. Much of the tobacco-related litigation is in its early stages, and litigation is subject to uncertainty. At the present time, except as stated otherwise in Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies, while it is reasonably possible that an unfavorable outcome in a case may occur, after assessing the information available to it: (i) management has not concluded that it is probable that a loss has been incurred in any of the pending tobacco-related cases; (ii) management is unable to estimate the possible loss or range of loss for any of the pending tobacco-related cases; and (iii) accordingly, no estimated loss has been accrued in the consolidated financial statements for unfavorable outcomes in these cases, if any. Legal defense costs are expensed as incurred.


Consolidated Operating Results
Our net revenues and operating income by segment were as follows:
(in millions) 2020 2019 2018
Net Revenues
European Union $ 10,702  $ 9,817  $ 9,298 
Eastern Europe 3,378  3,282  2,921 
Middle East & Africa 3,088  4,042  4,114 
South & Southeast Asia 4,396  5,094  4,656 
East Asia & Australia 5,429  5,364  5,580 
Latin America & Canada (1)
1,701  2,206  3,056 
Net revenues $ 28,694  $ 29,805  $ 29,625 
Operating Income
European Union $ 5,098  $ 3,970  $ 4,105 
Eastern Europe 871  547  902 
Middle East & Africa 1,026  1,684  1,627 
South & Southeast Asia 1,709  2,163  1,747 
East Asia & Australia 2,400  1,932  1,851 
Latin America & Canada (1)
564  235  1,145 
Operating income $ 11,668  $ 10,531  $ 11,377 
(1) As of March 22, 2019, PMI deconsolidated the financial results of its Canadian subsidiary, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. ("RBH") from PMI's financial statements. For further details, see Item 8, Note 20. Deconsolidation of RBH.

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Items affecting the comparability of results from operations were as follows:

Asset impairment and exit costs - See Item 8, Note 19. Asset Impairment and Exit Costs for details of the $149 million and $422 million pre-tax charges for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, as well as a breakdown of these costs by segment.
Russia excise and VAT audit charge - See Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies for details of the $374 million pre-tax charge included in the Eastern Europe segment for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Canadian tobacco litigation-related expense - See Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies and Note 20. Deconsolidation of RBH for details of the $194 million pre-tax charge included in the Latin America & Canada segment for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Loss on deconsolidation of RBH - See Item 8, Note 20. Deconsolidation of RBH for details of the $239 million loss included in the Latin America & Canada segment for the year ended December 31, 2019.

Brazil indirect tax credit - Following a final and enforceable decision by the highest court in Brazil in October 2020, PMI recorded a gain of $119 million for tax credits representing overpayments of indirect taxes for the period from March 2012 through December 2019; these tax credits will be applied to future tax liabilities in Brazil. This amount was included as a reduction in marketing, administration and research costs in the consolidated statements of earnings for the year ended December 31, 2020 and was included in the operating income of the Latin America & Canada segment. A decision regarding an additional amount of overpaid indirect taxes of approximately $90 million is still pending before this court.

Our net revenues by product category were as follows:
PMI Net Revenues by Product Category
(in millions) 2020 2019 2018
Combustible Products
European Union $ 8,053  $ 8,093  $ 8,433 
Eastern Europe 2,250  2,438  2,597 
Middle East & Africa 3,031  3,721  3,732 
South & Southeast Asia 4,395  5,094  4,656 
East Asia & Australia 2,468  2,693  3,074 
Latin America & Canada 1,670  2,179  3,037 
Total Combustible Products $ 21,867  $ 24,218  $ 25,529 
Reduced-Risk Products
European Union $ 2,649  $ 1,724  $ 865 
Eastern Europe 1,128  844  324 
Middle East & Africa 57  321  382 
South & Southeast Asia 1  —  — 
East Asia & Australia 2,961  2,671  2,506 
Latin America & Canada 31  27  19 
Total Reduced-Risk Products $ 6,827  $ 5,587  $ 4,096 
Total PMI Net Revenues $ 28,694  $ 29,805  $ 29,625 
Note: Sum of product categories or Regions might not foot to total PMI due to rounding.

Net revenues related to combustible products refer to the operating revenues generated from the sale of these products, including shipping and handling charges billed to customers, net of sales and promotion incentives, and excise taxes. These net revenue amounts consist of the sale of our cigarettes and other tobacco products combined. Other tobacco products primarily include roll-your-own and make-your-own cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars and cigarillos and do not include reduced-risk products.

Net revenues related to reduced-risk products refer to the operating revenues generated from the sale of these products, including shipping and handling charges billed to customers, net of sales and promotion incentives, and excise taxes. These net revenue
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amounts consist of the sale of our heated tobacco units, heat-not-burn devices and related accessories, and other nicotine-containing products, which primarily include our e-vapor products.

PMI's heat-not-burn products include licensed KT&G heat-not-burn products.

Revenues from shipments of Platform 1 devices, heated tobacco units and accessories to Altria Group, Inc., commencing in the third quarter of 2019, for sale under license in the United States, are included in Net Revenues of the Latin America & Canada segment.

References to "Cost/Other" in the Consolidated Financial Summary table of total PMI and the six operating segments throughout this "Discussion and Analysis" reflects the currency-neutral variances of: cost of sales (excluding the volume/mix cost component); marketing, administration and research costs (including asset impairment and exit costs, the Canadian tobacco litigation-related expense, the charge related to the deconsolidation of RBH in Canada, and the Russia excise and VAT audit charge); and amortization of intangibles. “Cost/Other” also includes the currency-neutral net revenue variance, unrelated to volume/mix and price components, attributable to fees for certain distribution rights billed to customers in certain markets in the ME&A Region, as well as the impact of the deconsolidation in RBH.


Our shipment volume by segment for cigarettes and heated tobacco units was as follows:
PMI Shipment Volume (Million Units)
2020 2019 2018
Cigarettes
European Union 163,420  174,319 179,622
Eastern Europe 93,462  100,644 108,718
Middle East & Africa 117,999  134,568 136,605
South & Southeast Asia 144,788  174,934 178,469
East Asia & Australia 45,100  49,951 56,163
Latin America & Canada 63,749  72,293 80,738
Total Cigarettes 628,518  706,709 740,315
Heated Tobacco Units
European Union 19,842  12,569  5,977 
Eastern Europe 20,898  13,453  4,979 
Middle East & Africa 1,022  2,654  3,403 
South & Southeast Asia 36  —  — 
East Asia & Australia 33,862  30,677  26,866 
Latin America & Canada (1)
451  299  147 
Total Heated Tobacco Units 76,111  59,652  41,372 
Cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Units
European Union 183,262  186,888  185,599 
Eastern Europe 114,360  114,097  113,697 
Middle East & Africa 119,021  137,222  140,008 
South & Southeast Asia 144,824  174,934  178,469 
East Asia & Australia 78,962  80,628  83,029 
Latin America & Canada 64,200  72,592  80,885 
Total Cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Units 704,629  766,361  781,687 
(1) Includes shipments to Altria Group, Inc., commencing in the third quarter of 2019, for sale in the United States under license.

Following the deconsolidation of our Canadian subsidiary, we will continue to report the volume of brands sold by RBH for which other PMI subsidiaries are the trademark owners. These include HEETS, Next, Philip Morris and Rooftop.
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Heated tobacco units ("HTU") is the term we use to refer to heated tobacco consumables, which for us include our HEETS, HEETS Creations, HEETS Dimensions, HEETS Marlboro and HEETS FROM MARLBORO (defined collectively as HEETS), Marlboro Dimensions, Marlboro HeatSticks and Parliament HeatSticks, as well as the KT&G-licensed brands, Fiit and Miix (outside of Korea).

Market share for HTUs is defined as the total sales volume for HTUs as a percentage of the total estimated sales volume for cigarettes and HTUs.

Shipment volume of heated tobacco units to the United States is included in the heated tobacco unit shipment volume of the Latin America & Canada segment.

References to total international market, defined as worldwide cigarette and heated tobacco unit volume excluding the United States, total industry, total market and market shares throughout this "Discussion and Analysis" are our estimates for tax-paid products based on the latest available data from a number of internal and external sources and may, in defined instances, exclude the People's Republic of China and/or our duty free business. In addition, to reflect the deconsolidation of RBH, effective March 22, 2019, PMI's total market share has been restated for previous periods.

2020 estimates for total industry volume and market share in certain geographies reflect limitations on the availability and accuracy of industry data during pandemic-related restrictions.

In-market sales ("IMS") is defined as sales to the retail channel, depending on the market and distribution model.

North Africa is defined as Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.

The Gulf Cooperation Council ("GCC") is defined as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Unless otherwise stated, references to total industry, total market, our shipment volume and our market share performance reflect cigarettes and heated tobacco units.

From time to time, PMI’s shipment volumes are subject to the impact of distributor inventory movements, and estimated total industry/market volumes are subject to the impact of inventory movements in various trade channels that include estimated trade inventory movements of PMI’s competitors arising from market-specific factors that significantly distort reported volume disclosures. Such factors may include changes to the manufacturing supply chain, shipment methods, consumer demand, timing of excise tax increases or other influences that may affect the timing of sales to customers. In such instances, in addition to reviewing PMI shipment volumes and certain estimated total industry/market volumes on a reported basis, management reviews these measures on an adjusted basis that excludes the impact of distributor and/or estimated trade inventory movements. Management also believes that disclosing PMI shipment volumes and estimated total industry/market volumes in such circumstances on a basis that excludes the impact of distributor and/or estimated trade inventory movements improves the comparability of performance and trends for these measures over different reporting periods.


2020 compared with 2019

The following discussion compares our consolidated operating results for the year ended December 31, 2020, with the year ended December 31, 2019.

Estimated international industry cigarette and heated tobacco unit volume, excluding China and the United States, of 2.5 trillion, decreased by 5.8%, due to all PMI Regions, as described in the Regional sections below.

Our total shipment volume decreased by 8.1%, due to:

the EU, reflecting lower cigarette shipment volume, notably in Italy, Poland and Spain, partly offset by higher heated tobacco unit shipment volume across the Region, particularly in Italy and Poland;
Middle East & Africa, reflecting lower cigarette shipment volume, primarily in PMI Duty Free and Turkey, as well as lower heated tobacco unit shipment volume due to PMI Duty Free;
South & Southeast Asia, reflecting lower cigarette shipment volume, primarily in Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines;
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East Asia & Australia, reflecting lower cigarette shipment volume, predominantly in Japan, partly offset by higher heated tobacco unit shipment volume driven by Japan; and
Latin America & Canada, reflecting lower cigarette shipment volume, primarily in Argentina and Mexico, partially offset by Brazil. Excluding the volume impact from the RBH deconsolidation, our total shipment volume in the Region decreased by 10.3%;
partly offset by
Eastern Europe, reflecting higher heated tobacco unit shipment volume across the Region, notably in Russia and Ukraine, partly offset by lower cigarette shipment volume, mainly in Russia and Ukraine.

Excluding the volume impact from the RBH deconsolidation of approximately 1.0 billion units (reflecting first quarter 2019 volume of RBH-owned brands and including Duty-Free sales of these brands in Canada), PMI's total shipment volume decreased by 7.9%.

Impact of Inventory Movements

The net impact of estimated distributor inventory movements for the full year was immaterial. Excluding the volume impact from the deconsolidation of RBH, our total in-market sales declined by 7.8%.

Our cigarette shipment volume by brand and heated tobacco unit shipment volume was as follows:
PMI Shipment Volume by Brand (Million Units)
Full-Year
2020 2019 Change
Cigarettes
Marlboro 233,158  262,908  (11.3) %
L&M 91,098  92,873  (1.9) %
Chesterfield 52,139  57,185  (8.8) %
Philip Morris 45,645  49,164  (7.2) %
Parliament 34,737  38,723  (10.3) %
Sampoerna A 32,862  35,133  (6.5) %
Dji Sam Soe 24,754  32,435  (23.7) %
Bond Street 24,113  28,025  (14.0) %
Lark 15,489  19,602  (21.0) %
Next 8,980  8,602  4.4  %
Others 65,543  82,059  (20.1) %
Total Cigarettes 628,518  706,709  (11.1) %
Heated Tobacco Units (1)
76,111  59,652  27.6  %
Total Cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Units 704,629  766,361  (8.1) %
(1) Includes shipments to Altria Group, Inc., commencing in the third quarter of 2019, for sale in the United States under license.
Note: Sampoerna A includes Sampoerna; Philip Morris includes Philip Morris/Dubliss; Lark includes Lark Harmony; and Next includes Next/Dubliss

Our cigarette shipment volume of the following brands decreased:

Marlboro, mainly due to Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, PMI Duty Free, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, partly offset by Russia;
L&M, notably due to PMI Duty Free and Poland, partly offset by Mexico and Turkey;
Chesterfield, mainly due to Poland, Russia and Turkey, partly offset by Brazil and Saudi Arabia;
Philip Morris, primarily due to Argentina and Italy, partly offset by Russia;
Parliament, mainly due to PMI Duty Free, Russia and Turkey;
Sampoerna A in Indonesia, mainly due to premium A Mild;
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Dji Sam Soe in Indonesia, mainly due to Dji Sam Soe Magnum Mild;
Bond Street, largely due to Russia and Ukraine;
Lark, primarily due to Japan and Turkey; and
"Others," notably due to: the impact of the deconsolidation of RBH in Canada; mid-price Fortune and Hope in the Philippines, Muratti in Turkey and Sampoerna U in Indonesia; and low-price Baronet (morphed to L&M) in Mexico, Jackpot in the Philippines and Morven in Pakistan; partly offset by mid-price Sampoerna Hijau in Indonesia.

Our cigarette shipment volume of the following brand increased:
Next, notably driven by Israel and Russia.
The increase in our heated tobacco unit shipment volume was mainly driven by the EU (notably Italy and Poland), Eastern Europe (notably Russia and Ukraine) and Japan, partly offset by PMI Duty Free.
2020 International Share of Market (excluding China and the United States)

Our total international market share (excluding China and the U.S.), defined as our cigarette and heated tobacco unit sales volume as a percentage of total industry cigarette and heated tobacco unit sales volume, decreased by 0.7 points to 27.7%, reflecting:
Total international market share for cigarettes of 24.7%, down by 1.5 points; and
Total international market share for heated tobacco units of 3.0%, up by 0.8 points.
Our total international cigarette sales volume as a percentage of total industry cigarette sales volume was down by 1.2 points to 25.7%, mainly reflecting: out-switching to heated tobacco units, as well as lower cigarette market share and/or an unfavorable geographic mix impact, notably in Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines and PMI Duty Free, partly offset by Brazil and Germany.

In 2020, we owned five of the world's top 15 international cigarette brands, with international cigarette market shares as follows: Marlboro, 9.5%; L&M, 3.7%; Chesterfield, 2.2%; Philip Morris, 1.9%; and Parliament, 1.4%.

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Key Market Data

Key market data regarding total market size, our shipments and market share were as follows:
PMI Shipments (billion units)
PMI Market Share (%)(1)
Market Total Market
(billion units)
Total Cigarette Heated Tobacco Unit Total Heated Tobacco Unit
2020 2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020 2019 2020 2019
Total 2,548.4 2,705.0 704.6 766.4 628.5 706.7 76.1 59.7 27.7 28.4 3.0 2.2
European Union
France 36.6 37.9 16.3 17.0 16.1 16.9 0.2 0.1 44.9 45.0 0.5 0.2
Germany 74.6 73.3 29.1 27.9 27.4 27.0 1.6 0.9 39.0 38.0 2.2 1.2
Italy 67.4 67.9 34.6 34.9 29.0 31.4 5.6 3.5 52.2 51.8 8.1 4.8
Poland 45.6 46.2 17.8 19.0 15.4 17.9 2.4 1.1 39.0 41.2 5.2 2.5
Spain 41.8 45.4 13.2 14.5 12.8 14.1 0.4 0.3 31.4 31.3 1.0 0.7
Eastern Europe
Russia 219.1 226.5 69.2 68.0 55.6 58.8 13.6 9.2 32.3 30.1 6.3 3.8
Middle East & Africa
Saudi Arabia 21.7 20.8 9.1 9.2 9.0 9.2 0.1 39.0 43.0 0.3
Turkey 114.8 119.7 47.5 51.9 47.5 51.9 41.3 43.4
South & Southeast Asia
Indonesia 276.3 305.7 79.5 98.5 79.5 98.5 28.8 32.2
Philippines 62.1 70.5 41.7 49.7 41.7 49.7 67.2 70.5 0.1
East Asia & Australia
Australia 11.0 12.0 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 29.9 27.5
Japan 142.9 157.8 51.1 52.4 22.2 26.6 28.9 25.8 37.1 34.5 20.4 17.1
Korea 71.6 68.6 14.8 15.5 10.2 10.8 4.6 4.6 20.7 22.6 6.5 6.8
Latin America & Canada
Argentina 33.6 33.4 20.5 23.3 20.5 23.3 61.0 70.0
Mexico 30.7 35.5 19.5 23.8 19.5 23.8 0.1 63.7 67.1 0.2
(1) Market share estimates are calculated using IMS data
Note: % change for Total Market and PMI shipments is computed based on millions of units; PMI Market Share estimates for previous periods are restated to reflect RBH deconsolidation and exclude RBH-owned brands.




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Financial Summary
Financial Summary -
Years Ended
December 31,
Change
Fav./(Unfav.)
Variance
Fav./(Unfav.)
2020 2019 Total Excl.
Curr.
Total Cur-
rency
Price Vol/
Mix
Cost/Other(1)
(in millions)
Net Revenues 28,694  29,805  (3.7) % (2.2) % $ (1,111) $ (469) $ 794  $ (1,183) $ (253)
Cost of Sales (9,569) (10,513) 9.0  % 7.5  % 944  158  —  464  322 
Marketing, Administration and Research Costs (2)
(7,384) (8,695) 15.1  % 17.0  % 1,311  (166) —  —  1,477 
Amortization of Intangibles (73) (66) (10.6) % (13.6) % (7) —  —  (9)
Operating Income 11,668  10,531  10.8  % 15.3  % $ 1,137  $ (475) $ 794  $ (719) $ 1,537 
(1) Cost/Other variance includes the impact of the RBH deconsolidation.
(2) Favorable Cost/Other variance includes the 2019 Russia excise and VAT audit charge of $374 million, the 2019 Canadian tobacco litigation-related expense of $194 million, the 2019 loss on deconsolidation of RBH of $239 million, the 2019 asset impairment and exit costs of $422 million, the 2020 asset impairment and exit costs of ($149 million) and the 2020 Brazil indirect tax credit of $119 million, as well as the impact of the RBH deconsolidation.
Note: Net Revenues include revenues from shipments of Platform 1 devices, heated tobacco units and accessories to Altria Group, Inc., commencing in the third quarter of 2019, for sale under license in the United States.

Net revenues, excluding unfavorable currency, decreased by 2.2%, reflecting: unfavorable volume/mix, primarily due to lower cigarette volume (mainly in Argentina, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, PMI Duty Free, Poland, Russia and Ukraine, partly offset by Germany), partially offset by higher heated tobacco unit volume (notably in the EU, Japan, Russia and Ukraine, partly offset by PMI Duty Free); and the unfavorable impact of $253 million, shown in "Cost/Other," mainly resulting from the deconsolidation of RBH and lower fees for certain distribution rights billed to customers in certain markets; partly offset by a favorable pricing variance (notably driven by the GCC, Germany, Japan, Mexico, North Africa, the Philippines, PMI Duty Free, Russia and Ukraine, partially offset by Indonesia, Poland and Turkey).

The unfavorable currency in net revenues was due primarily to the Brazilian real, Indonesian rupiah, Mexican pesos, Russian ruble and Turkish lira, partially offset by the Euro, Japanese yen and Philippine peso.

Net revenues include $6.8 billion in 2020 and $5.6 billion in 2019 related to the sale of RRPs. IQOS devices accounted for approximately 7% of RRP net revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020, mainly due to a naturally lower ratio of new users to existing users, longer replacement cycles and geographic mix.

Operating income, excluding unfavorable currency, increased by 15.3%, notably reflecting a favorable comparison, shown in "Cost/Other," of a net charge of $30 million recorded in 2020 related to asset impairment and exit costs of $149 million (associated with organizational design optimization) and the Brazil indirect tax credit of $119 million, to charges recorded in 2019 of $1.2 billion, related to: asset impairment and exit costs ($422 million), associated with plant closures in Argentina, Colombia, Germany and Pakistan), the loss on the deconsolidation of RBH ($239 million), the Canadian tobacco litigation-related expense ($194 million), and the Russia excise and VAT audit charge ($374 million).

Excluding these 2020 and 2019 items noted above, and unfavorable currency of $475 million, operating income increased by 3.5%, primarily reflecting: a favorable pricing variance; lower manufacturing costs (driven by productivity gains related to reduced-risk and combustible products) and lower marketing, administration and research costs (partly driven by cost efficiencies); partially offset by unfavorable volume/mix, mainly due to lower cigarette volume (primarily in Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, PMI Duty Free, Poland and Russia), partly offset by higher heated tobacco unit volume (notably in the EU, Japan, Russia and Ukraine, partially offset by PMI Duty Free); and the unfavorable impact of the deconsolidation of RBH, included in "Cost/Other."

Interest expense, net, of $618 million increased by $48 million (8.4%) due primarily to lower interest earned on cash balances.

Our effective tax rate decreased by 1.5 percentage points to 21.7%. The effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2020 was favorably impacted by changes in earnings mix by taxing jurisdiction, a reduction of U.S. state tax expense, a reduction of estimated U.S. federal income tax liabilities for years 2018 and 2019 due to final regulations under the GILTI provisions of the Internal Revenue Code ($93 million) and the corporate income tax rate reduction in Indonesia, partially offset by a decrease in deductions related to
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foreign-derived intangible income for the years 2018 and 2019 and repatriation cost differences. We estimate that our 2021 effective tax rate will be around 22%, excluding discrete tax events. Changes in currency exchange rates, earnings mix by taxing jurisdiction or future regulatory developments may have an impact on the effective tax rates, which we monitor each quarter. Significant judgment is required in determining income tax provisions and in evaluating tax positions. For further details, see Item 8, Note 11. Income Taxes.

We are regularly examined by tax authorities around the world, and we are currently under examination in a number of jurisdictions. It is reasonably possible that within the next 12 months certain tax examinations will close, which could result in a change in unrecognized tax benefits along with related interest and penalties. An estimate of any possible change cannot be made at this time.

Net earnings attributable to PMI of $8.1 billion increased by $871 million or 12.1%. This increase was due primarily to higher operating income as discussed above and a lower effective tax rate. Diluted and basic EPS of $5.16 increased by 11.9%. Excluding an unfavorable currency impact of $0.32, diluted EPS increased by 18.9%.


2019 compared with 2018

For a discussion comparing our consolidated operating results for the year ended December 31, 2019, with the year ended December 31, 2018, refer to Part II, Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation - Discussion and Analysis - Consolidated Operating Results in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, which was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on February 7, 2020.


Operating Results by Business Segment

Business Environment     
Taxes, Legislation, Regulation and Other Matters Regarding the Manufacture, Marketing, Sale and Use of Tobacco Products
The tobacco industry and our company face a number of challenges that may adversely affect our business, volume, results of operations, cash flows and financial position. These challenges, which are discussed below and in “Cautionary Factors That May Affect Future Results,” include:

regulatory restrictions on our products, including restrictions on the packaging, marketing, and sale of tobacco or other nicotine-containing products that could reduce our competitiveness, eliminate our ability to communicate with adult consumers, or even ban certain of our products;
fiscal challenges, such as excessive excise tax increases and discriminatory tax structures;
illicit trade in cigarettes and other tobacco and nicotine-containing products, including counterfeit, contraband and so-called “illicit whites”;
intense competition, including from non-tax paid volume by certain local manufacturers;
pending and threatened litigation as discussed in Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies; and
governmental investigations.

Regulatory Restrictions: The tobacco industry operates in a highly regulated environment. The well-known risks of smoking have led regulators to impose significant restrictions and high excise taxes on cigarettes.

Much of the regulation that shapes the business environment in which we operate is driven by the World Health Organization's (“WHO”) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (“FCTC”), which entered into force in 2005. The FCTC has as its main objective to establish a global agenda for tobacco regulation, with the purpose of reducing tobacco use. To date, 181 countries and the European Union are Parties to the FCTC. The treaty requires Parties to have in place various tobacco control measures and recommends others. The FCTC governing body, the Conference of the Parties (“CoP”), has also adopted non-binding guidelines and policy recommendations related to certain articles of the FCTC that go beyond the text of the treaty. In October 2018, the CoP recognized the need for more scientific assessment and improved reporting to define policy on heated tobacco products. Similar to its previous policy recommendations on e-cigarettes, the CoP invited countries to regulate, restrict or prohibit heated tobacco products, as appropriate under their national laws.

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In July 2019, the WHO issued the Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2019. While citing insufficient independent studies regarding the benefits and the unknown long-term health impacts of electronic nicotine delivery systems and heated tobacco products, the WHO has taken the position that such products are not risk-free and should be regulated in the same manner as cigarettes and in line with the FCTC provisions. It is not possible to predict whether or to what extent measures recommended by the WHO, including the FCTC guidelines, will be implemented.

We believe that when better alternatives to cigarettes exist, the discussion should not be whether these alternatives should be made available to the more than one billion men and women who smoke today, but how fast, and within what regulatory framework to maximize their adoption while minimizing unintended use. Therefore, we advocate for regulatory frameworks that recognize a significant difference on a risk continuum between combustible tobacco on the one hand and non-combustible tobacco and other nicotine-containing products on the other. Regulation should include measures that will accelerate switching to non-combustible products, for example, by allowing adult consumers who would not otherwise quit to receive truthful and non-misleading information about such products to enable them to make informed decisions and by applying uniform product standards to enable manufacturers to demonstrate the safety of these products as well as the absence of combustion. Regulation should also include specific rules for ingredients, labeling and consumer communication, and should ensure that the public is informed about the health risks of all combustible and non-combustible tobacco and nicotine-containing products. Importantly, regulation must include measures designed to prevent initiation by youth and non-smokers. We support mandated health warnings, minimum age laws, restrictions on advertising, and public place smoking restrictions. We also support regulatory measures that help reduce illicit trade.

Certain measures are discussed in more detail below and in the Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs) section.

Fiscal Challenges: Excessive and disruptive excise, sales and other tax increases and discriminatory tax structures are expected to continue to have an adverse impact on our profitability, due to lower consumption and consumer down-trading to non-premium, discount, other low-price or low-taxed combustible tobacco products such as fine cut tobacco and illicit cigarettes. In addition, in certain jurisdictions, some of our combustible products are subject to tax structures that discriminate against premium-price products and manufactured cigarettes. We believe that such tax policies undermine public health by encouraging consumers to turn to illicit trade, and ultimately undercut government revenue objectives, disrupt the competitive environment, and encourage criminal activity. Other jurisdictions have imposed, or are seeking to impose, levies or other taxes specifically on tobacco companies, such as taxes on revenues and/or profits.

World Customs Organization Developments: In 2020, the World Customs Organization (“WCO”) amended the harmonized system nomenclature to introduce dedicated custom codes for novel tobacco and nicotine products, including heated tobacco products, e-cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products. The amendments will be effective as of January 1, 2022. These amendments require WCO member states to transfer products from customs codes in the current nomenclature to the new one. These amendments are not expected to significantly impact current customs duty rates.

EU Tobacco Products Directive: In April 2014, the EU adopted a significantly revised EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which entered into force in May 2016. All member states have adopted laws transposing the TPD.  The TPD sets forth a comprehensive set of regulatory requirements for tobacco products, including:

health warnings covering 65% of the front and back panels of cigarette packs, with an option for member states to further standardize tobacco packaging, including the introduction of plain packaging;
a ban on characterizing flavors in some tobacco products, with a transition period for menthol that expired in May 2020;
security features and tracking and tracing measures that became effective on May 20, 2019; and
a framework for the regulation of novel tobacco products and e-cigarettes, including requirements for health warnings and information leaflets, a prohibition on product packaging text related to reduced risk, and the introduction of notification requirements or authorization procedures in advance of commercialization.

The EU Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety is preparing a report on the implementation of the TPD, including the evaluation of whether the TPD has achieved its objectives and is still relevant considering scientific, international and technical developments, including in novel tobacco products and e-cigarettes. The report is expected to include recommendations on potential revisions of the TPD to account for such developments. The report is due by May 2021.

EU Tobacco Excise Directive: The EU Commission is preparing a legislative proposal for the revision of the 2011 EU Tobacco Excise Directive that may include definitions and tax treatment for novel tobacco and nicotine-containing products, including heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes. The proposal is expected to be finalized by the end of 2021. The adoption of the proposal will require unanimous agreement by all EU member states.
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Plain Packaging and Other Packaging Restrictions: Plain packaging legislation bans the use of branding, logos and colors on packaging other than the brand name and variant that may be printed only in specified locations and in a uniform font. To date, plain packaging laws have been adopted in certain markets in all of our operating segments, including the key markets of Australia, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Some countries, such as Canada, New Zealand, Israel and Denmark adopted plain packaging regulations that apply to all tobacco products, including RRPs. Other countries are also considering plain packaging legislation.

Some countries have adopted, or are considering adopting, packaging restrictions that could have an impact similar to plain packaging. Examples of such restrictions include standardizing the shape and size of packages, prohibiting certain colors or the use of certain descriptive phrases on packaging, and requiring very large graphic health warnings that leave little space for branding.

Restrictions and Bans on the Use of Ingredients: The WHO and others in the public health community have recommended restrictions or total bans on the use of some or all ingredients in tobacco products, including menthol. Broad restrictions and ingredient bans would require us to reformulate our American blend tobacco products and could reduce our ability to differentiate these products in the market in the long term. In many countries, menthol bans would eliminate the entire category of mentholated tobacco products. The European Union banned cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products with characterizing flavors. Other tobacco products, including heated tobacco products, are exempted from this flavor ban. The EU Commission is required to withdraw this exemption for a particular product category if it determines that there is a substantial change of circumstances, such as a significant increase of EU-wide sales volumes in such product category. Other countries may follow the EU’s approach. Turkey banned menthol as of May 2020. Broader ingredient bans have been adopted by Canada and Brazil.
Bans on Display of Tobacco Products at Retail: In a number of our markets, including, but not limited to, Australia and Russia, governments have banned the display of tobacco products at the point of sale. Other countries are considering similar bans.

Bans and Restrictions on Advertising, Marketing, Promotions and Sponsorships: For many years, the FCTC has called for, and countries have imposed, partial or total bans on tobacco advertising, marketing, promotions and sponsorships, including bans and restrictions on advertising on radio and television, in print and on the Internet. The FCTC's non-binding guidelines recommend that governments prohibit all forms of communication with adult smokers.

Restrictions on Product Design: Some members of the public health community are calling for the further standardization of tobacco products by requiring, for example, that cigarettes have a certain minimum diameter, which would amount to a ban on slim cigarettes, or requiring the use of standardized filter and cigarette paper designs. In addition, at its meeting in November 2016, the CoP adopted non-binding guidelines recommending that countries regulate product design features that increase the attractiveness of tobacco products, such as the diameter of cigarettes and the use of flavor capsules.

Restrictions on Public Smoking and Use of Nicotine-Containing Products in Public: The pace and scope of restrictions on the use of our products have increased significantly in most of our markets. Many countries around the world have adopted, or are likely to adopt, regulations that restrict or ban smoking and use of nicotine-containing products in public and/or work places, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Some public health groups have called for, and some countries, regional governments and municipalities have adopted or proposed, bans on smoking in outdoor places, as well as bans on smoking in cars (typically, when minors are present) and private homes.

Other Regulatory Issues: Some regulators are considering, or in some cases have adopted, regulatory measures designed to reduce the supply of tobacco products. These include regulations intended to reduce the number of retailers selling tobacco products by, for example, reducing the overall number of tobacco retail licenses available or banning the sale of tobacco products within specified distances of certain public facilities. In addition, South Africa banned the sale of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and electronic devices that heat tobacco for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ban, which was lifted on August 17, 2020, resulted in a significant increase of illicit trade of tobacco products.

In a limited number of markets, most notably Japan, we are dependent on governmental approvals that may limit our pricing flexibility.

The EU Single-Use Plastics Directive, which will require tobacco manufacturers and importers to cover the costs of public collection systems for tobacco product filters, entered into force on July 2, 2019, after which member states will have two years to transpose it into national law. While we cannot predict the impact of this initiative on our business at this time, we are monitoring developments in this area.

Illicit Trade: Illicit tobacco trade creates a cheap and unregulated supply of tobacco products, undermines efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, especially among youth, damages legitimate businesses and intellectual property rights, stimulates organized crime,
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increases corruption and reduces government tax revenue. Without accounting for any potential COVID-19-related impact, we generally estimate that, excluding China and the U.S., illicit trade may account for as much as 10 to 12% of global cigarette consumption; this includes counterfeit, contraband and the persistent problem of “illicit whites,” which are cigarettes legally produced in one jurisdiction for the sole purpose of being exported and illegally sold in another jurisdiction where they have no legitimate market. Currently, we estimate that illicit trade in the European Union accounted for approximately 8% of total cigarette consumption in 2019.

A number of jurisdictions are considering actions to prevent illicit trade. In November 2012, the FCTC adopted the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (the “Protocol”), which includes supply chain control measures, such as licensing of manufacturers and distributors, enforcement of these control measures in free trade zones, controls on duty free and Internet channels and the implementation of tracking and tracing technologies. To date, 62 Parties, including the European Union, have ratified it. The Protocol came into force in September 2018. Parties must start implementing its provisions in their national legislation. In October 2018, the first Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol decided to produce a comprehensive report on good practices for the implementation of tracking and tracing systems and to prepare a conceptual framework for global information sharing to combat illicit tobacco trade. We welcome this decision and expect that other Parties will ratify the Protocol.

We devote substantial resources to help prevent illicit trade in combustible tobacco products and RRPs. For example, we engage with governments, our business partners and other stakeholders to implement effective measures to combat illicit trade and, in some instances, pursue legal remedies to protect our intellectual property rights.

The tracking and tracing regulations for cigarettes and roll-your-own products manufactured or destined for the EU became effective on May 20, 2019. The effective date for other tobacco-containing products, including some of our RRPs such as heated tobacco units, is May 20, 2024. While we expect that this regulation will increase our operating expenses, we do not expect this increase to be significant.

In 2009, our Colombian subsidiaries entered into an Investment and Cooperation Agreement with the national and regional governments of Colombia to promote investment in, and cooperation on, anti-contraband and anti-counterfeit efforts. The agreement provides $200 million in funding over a 20-year period to address issues such as combating illegal cigarette trade and increasing the quality and quantity of locally-grown tobacco.

In May 2016, PMI launched PMI IMPACT, a global initiative that supports third-party projects dedicated to fighting illegal trade and related crimes such as corruption, organized criminal networks and money laundering. The centerpiece of PMI IMPACT is a council of external independent experts in the fields of law, anti-corruption and law enforcement. The experts are responsible for evaluating and approving funding proposals for PMI IMPACT grants. PMI has pledged $100 million to fund projects within PMI IMPACT over three funding rounds.

Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs)    

Our Approach to RRPs: We recognize that smoking cigarettes causes serious diseases and that the best way to avoid the harms of smoking is never to start or to quit. Nevertheless, it is predicted that over the next decade the number of smokers will remain largely unchanged from the current estimate of 1.1 billion, despite the considerable efforts to discourage smoking.

Cigarettes burn tobacco, which produces smoke. As a result of the combustion process, the smoker inhales various toxic substances. In contrast, RRPs do not burn tobacco and produce an aerosol that contains significantly lower levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents ("HPHCs") than found in cigarette smoke.

For adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke, we believe that RRPs, while not risk-free, offer a much better consumer choice. Accordingly, our key strategic priorities are: to develop and commercialize products that present less risk of harm to adult smokers who switch to those products versus continued smoking; and to convince current adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke to switch to those products.

We recognize that this transformation from cigarettes to RRPs will take time and that the speed of transformation will depend in part upon factors beyond our control, such as the willingness of governments, regulators and other policy groups to embrace RRPs as a desired alternative to continued cigarette smoking. We also recognize that our part in this transformation must be funded from our existing cigarette business. For as long as a significant number of adult smokers continues to smoke, it is critical that the industry be led by responsible and ethical manufacturers. Therefore, during the transformation, we intend to remain a leading international cigarette manufacturer.
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We have a range of RRPs in various stages of development, scientific assessment and commercialization. We conduct rigorous scientific assessments of our RRP platforms to substantiate that they reduce exposure to HPHCs and, ultimately, that these products present, are likely to present, or have the potential to present less risk of harm to adult smokers who switch to them versus continued smoking. We draw upon a team of expert scientists and engineers from a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines and our extensive learnings of adult consumer preferences to develop and assess our RRPs. Our efforts are guided by the following key objectives:

to develop RRPs that adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke find to be satisfying alternatives to smoking;
for those adult smokers, our goal is to offer RRPs with a scientifically substantiated risk-reduction profile that approaches as closely as possible that associated with smoking cessation;
to substantiate the reduction of risk for the individual adult smoker and the reduction of harm to the population as a whole, based on scientific evidence of the highest standard that is made available for scrutiny and review by external independent scientists and relevant regulatory bodies; and
to advocate for the development of science-based regulatory frameworks for the development and commercialization of RRPs, including the communication of scientifically substantiated information to enable adult smokers to make better consumer choices.

Our RRP Platforms: Our product development is based on the elimination of combustion via tobacco heating and other innovative systems for aerosol generation, which we believe is the most promising path to providing a better consumer choice for those who would otherwise continue to smoke. We recognize that no single product will appeal to all adult smokers. Therefore, we are developing a portfolio of products intended to appeal to a variety of distinct adult consumer preferences.

Four PMI-developed RRP platforms are in various stages of development and commercialization readiness:

        Platform 1 uses a precisely controlled heating device incorporating our IQOS HeatControl technology, into which a specially designed and proprietary tobacco unit is inserted and heated to generate an aerosol. We have conducted a series of clinical studies for this platform, the results of which were included in our submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) described below. We completed a 6+6-month exposure response study and shared the results with the FDA in April 2020. The study showed that for the group that switched to our Platform 1 product, the eight clinical risk endpoints that were tested as co-primary endpoints in the first six-month term moved in the same direction as observed for smoking cessation after 12 months of use of this product. In addition, we completed an 18-month combined chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity study in mice, which was on-going at the time of our FDA submission. We shared the results with the FDA in August 2018.

    Platform 2 uses a pressed carbon heat source which, when ignited, generates a nicotine-containing aerosol by heating tobacco. The results of our pharmacokinetic study (that measured the nicotine pharmacokinetic profile as well as subjective effects) and of our five-day reduced exposure study indicate that this platform could be an acceptable substitute for adult smokers who seek an alternative to cigarettes. The reduced exposure study results showed a substantial reduction in relevant biomarkers of exposure to the measured HPHCs in those who switched to Platform 2 compared to those who continued to smoke cigarettes over a five-day period. The sustainability of this reduction as well as changes in clinical risk markers were assessed in a three-month reduced exposure study, which was completed in 2018.

    Platform 3 provides an aerosol of nicotine salt. We have explored two routes for this platform, one with electronics and one without, and conducted nicotine pharmacokinetic studies with both versions. The results of our pharmacokinetic study related to the version without electronics indicate this product's potential as an acceptable alternative to continued cigarette smoking in terms of product satisfaction. In February 2020, we completed a product use and adaptation study in adult smokers for the product variant without electronics.

    Platform 4 covers e-vapor products, which are battery-powered devices that produce an aerosol by vaporizing a nicotine-containing liquid solution. In 2020, our e-vapor products comprised devices with the “coil and wick” technology as well as our e-vapor mesh technology designed to ensure the consistency and quality of the generated aerosol compared to the products with the “coil and wick” technology. Recently, we discontinued the commercialization of devices with the “coil and wick” technology. We conducted a nicotine pharmacokinetic study with respect to products with our e-vapor mesh technology in 2017. The results of this study indicate that these products are an effective means of nicotine delivery while being a satisfying alternative for e-cigarette users. In March 2019, a six-month pre-clinical study in mice evaluating the impact of e-cigarette vapor on the risks of pulmonary and cardiovascular disease compared to cigarette smoke was completed; this study did not pertain to a specific product. The study demonstrated that e-cigarette vapors induce significantly lower biological responses associated with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases compared with cigarette smoke.
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After we receive the results of our scientific studies mentioned above, in accordance with standard scientific practices, we intend to share the conclusions in scientific forums and to submit them for inclusion in peer-reviewed publications.

The research and development expense for our RRP portfolio accounted for 99%, 98% and 92% of our total research and development expense for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.  The research and development expense for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, is set forth in Item 8, Note 14. Additional Information to the consolidated financial statements.

Commercialization of RRPs: We are building a new product category and tailor our commercialization strategy to the characteristics of each specific market. We focus our commercialization efforts on consumer retail experience, guided consumer trials and customer care, and increasingly, digital communication programs and e-commerce.  In order to accelerate switching to our Platform 1 products, our initial market introductions typically entail one-to-one consumer engagement (in person or by digital means) and device discounts.  These initial commercialization efforts require substantial investment, which we believe will moderate over time and further benefit from the increased use of digital engagement capabilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we accelerated our investments in, and pivot to, digital consumer engagement.

In 2014, we introduced our Platform 1 product in pilot city launches in Nagoya, Japan, and in Milan, Italy. Since then, we have continuously expanded our commercialization activities, and as of December 31, 2020 the product has been commercialized in 64 markets in key cities or nationwide. While our Platform 1 products are currently available for sale in Mexico, that country banned the importation of e-cigarettes and devices that heat tobacco.
We believe that only a very small percentage of adult smokers who convert to our Platform 1 product switch back to cigarettes.

We have integrated the production of our heated tobacco units into a number of our existing manufacturing facilities, are progressing with our plans to build manufacturing capacity for our other RRP platforms, and continue to optimize our manufacturing infrastructure.

An adequate supply chain for our RRP portfolio, including the supply of electronic devices, is important to our business. We work with two electronics manufacturing service providers for the supply of our Platform 1 and IQOS VEEV devices and a small number of other providers for other products in our RRP portfolio and related accessories. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the operations of our two electronic manufacturing service providers were temporarily suspended at different times. Even though these suspensions did not materially affect our operations, if both of these service providers were significantly constrained at the same time, the supply of the devices could be disrupted. Although we work closely with these service providers on monitoring their production capability and financial health, we cannot guarantee that they will remain capable of meeting their commitments, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic; if they will not, the commercialization of our RRPs could be adversely affected. The production of our RRP portfolio requires various metals, and we believe that there is an adequate supply of such metals in the world markets to satisfy our current and anticipated production requirements. However, some components and materials necessary for the production of our RRPs, including those for the electronic devices, are obtained from single or limited sources, and can be subject to industry-wide shortages and price fluctuations. While we were successful in maintaining adequate supply of such components and materials so far, we may not be able to secure such supply going forward, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic; this could negatively impact the commercialization of our RRPs. For details on the impact of COVID-19 on our production and supply chain, see the "Executive Summary" section within this Item 7 of this Form 10-K.

Our Platform 1 and IQOS VEEV devices are subject to standard product warranties generally for a period of 12 months from the date of purchase or such other periods as required by law. We discuss product warranties in more detail in Item 8, Note 5. Product Warranty. The significance of warranty claims is dependent on a number of factors, including device version mix, product failure rates, logistics and service delivery costs, and warranty policies, and may increase with the number of devices sold.

Product quality may affect consumer acceptance of our RRPs.

Our commercialization efforts for the other RRP platforms are as follows:

In 2020, we started commercializing an improved version of our IQOS MESH product in New Zealand and the Czech Republic under the IQOS VEEV brand name. We currently plan to launch this product in additional markets under the IQOS VEEV or VEEV brand names.

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With respect to TEEPS, our Platform 2 product, we are finalizing our improvements to this product and plan to conduct a consumer test in 2021.

Following the consumer test conducted in 2020 and the results of the product use and adaptation study described above, we are incorporating our learnings into our plans to improve our Platform 3 product.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these plans may be delayed.

RRP Regulation and Taxation: RRPs contain nicotine and are not risk-free. As we describe in more detail above, we support science-based regulation and taxation of RRPs and believe that regulation and taxation should differentiate between cigarettes and products that present, are likely to present, or have the potential to present less risk of harm to adult smokers who switch to these products versus continued smoking and should recognize a continuum of risk for tobacco and other nicotine-containing products. Regulation, as well as industry practices, should reflect the fact that youth should not consume nicotine in any form.

Some governments have banned or are seeking to ban or severely restrict emerging tobacco and nicotine-containing products such as our RRPs and communication of truthful and non-misleading information about such products. For example, the commercialization of e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products is prohibited in Australia, the commercialization of e-cigarettes is prohibited in Argentina, the importation of e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products is prohibited in Turkey, and the importation of e-cigarettes and devices that heat tobacco is prohibited in Mexico.

These regulations might foreclose or unreasonably restrict adult consumer access even to products that might be shown to be a better consumer choice than continuing to smoke. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.

We oppose blanket bans and unreasonable restrictions of products that have the potential to present less risk of harm compared to continued smoking. By contrast, we support regulation that sets clear standards for all RRP categories and propels innovation to benefit adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke.

In the United States, an established regulatory framework for assessing “Modified Risk Tobacco Products” and “New Tobacco Products” exists under the jurisdiction of the FDA. We submitted to the FDA a Modified Risk Tobacco Product Application (“MRTPA”) for our Platform 1 product in December 2016, and a Premarket Tobacco Product Application (“PMTA”) for our Platform 1 product in March 2017.

On April 30, 2019, the FDA determined that a version of our Platform 1 product, namely, IQOS 2.4 and three related consumables, is appropriate for the protection of public health and authorized it for sale in the United States. The FDA’s decision followed its comprehensive assessment of our PMTA. On December 7, 2020, the FDA reached the same determination for the IQOS 3 device and authorized that version of our Platform 1 product for sale in the United States.

On July 7, 2020, the FDA determined that the available scientific evidence demonstrates that the issuance of an exposure modification order would be appropriate for the promotion of public health and authorized the marketing of a version of our Platform 1 product, namely IQOS 2.4 and three related consumables, as a "modified risk tobacco product." The FDA authorized the marketing of this product in the U.S. with the following information:

"AVAILABLE EVIDENCE TO DATE:

the IQOS system heats tobacco but does not burn it.
this significantly reduces the production of harmful and potentially harmful chemicals.
scientific studies have shown that switching completely from conventional cigarettes to the IQOS system significantly reduces your body’s exposure to harmful or potentially harmful chemicals."

We must request and receive authorization from the FDA in order to continue marketing this product with the same modified exposure information after the present order expires in four years.

There are two types of MRTP orders the FDA may issue: a “risk modification” order or an “exposure modification” order. We had requested both types of orders. After review, the FDA determined that the evidence did not support issuing a "risk modification" order at this time but that it did support issuing an "exposure modification" order for the product. This determination included a finding that issuance of the exposure modification order is expected to benefit the health of the population as a whole.
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We look forward to working with the FDA to provide any additional information they may require in order to market this product with reduced risk claims.

The FDA’s PMTA and MRTP orders do not mean that the agency “approved” our Platform 1 product. These authorizations are subject to strict marketing, reporting and other requirements and are not a guarantee that the product will remain authorized, particularly if there is a significant uptake in youth or non-smoker initiation.  The FDA will monitor the marketing of the product.

Some states and municipalities in the U.S. have introduced severe restrictions for the sale of certain e-cigarettes and tobacco products, including those authorized by the FDA. We believe that such restrictions on FDA-authorized products will not advance public health and will unreasonably limit adult consumer access to products that are shown to be a better alternative to continued smoking.

In March 2020, we requested a clarification from the FDA regarding the applicability of its new health warning requirements to our heated tobacco units sold in the United States.

In the U.S., tobacco and nicotine-containing products that were not commercially marketed as of February 15, 2007 are subject to review and authorization by the FDA. Manufacturers of all non-authorized products currently on the market were required to file a PMTA with the FDA by September 9, 2020. The FDA announced on September 9, 2020 that it will prioritize enforcement against any tobacco and nicotine-containing product sold without a PMTA.

FDA actions may influence the regulatory approach of other governments.

Until recently, there were no countries with specific product standards for heat-not-burn products. Currently, national standards setting minimum quality and safety requirements for such products have been adopted in several countries with technical heat-not-burn specifications and/or methods for demonstrating the absence of combustion. They are mandatory in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE, and voluntary in the U.K., Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, and Indonesia. In Japan, a voluntary standard sets minimum safety requirements for tobacco heating devices. We expect other governments to consider similar product standards and encourage making them mandatory.

All EU member states have transposed the EU Tobacco Products Directive, including the provisions on novel tobacco products, such as heated tobacco units, and e-cigarettes. Most of the EU member states require a notification submitted six months before the intended placing on the market of a novel tobacco product, while some require pre-market authorizations for the introduction of such products. To date, we have filed a comprehensive dossier summarizing our scientific assessment of our Platform 1 product in over 20 member states.

In addition, in Italy, in April 2018, we submitted an application for HEETS, used with the IQOS device, requesting regulatory recognition of the reduction of toxic substances and potential risk reduction resulting from switching to this product compared to continued cigarette smoking. In January 2019, our application was not granted primarily on the grounds of insufficient data and questions of methodology.  Due to the constraints of the review process, we had been unable to supplement the application with all the data we subsequently filed with the FDA and to address methodological questions during the review. We plan to submit a new application where we will clarify the concerns raised by the decision and further strengthen our application by submitting additional evidence that became available since we submitted our first application, consistent with our FDA filings. We are confident that our evidence supports our application.

On October 31, 2019, our Australian subsidiary, Philip Morris Limited (“PML”), submitted an application to the Scheduling Committee of the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (“TGA”) seeking to exempt heated tobacco products from being prohibited in Australia. In August 2020, the TGA issued its decision denying the application and stating that it did not present compelling evidence to establish a public health benefit from greater access to nicotine in heated tobacco products.

To date, several governmental agencies have published their scientific findings that analyze the harm-reduction potential of certain RRPs versus continuing smoking, including:

In December 2017, at the request of the U.K. Department of Health and Public Health England, the U.K. Committee on Toxicity published its assessment of the risk of heat-not-burn products relative to cigarette smoking. This assessment included analysis of scientific data for two heat-not-burn products, one of which was our Platform 1 product. The assessment concluded that, while still harmful to health, compared with the known risks from cigarettes, heat-not-burn products are probably less harmful. Subsequently, in February 2018, Public Health England published a report stating that the available evidence suggests that heat-not-burn products may be considerably less harmful than cigarettes and more harmful than e-cigarettes.
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In May 2018, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (“BfR”) published a study on the Platform 1 aerosol relative to cigarette smoke using the Health Canada Intense Smoking Regimen. BfR found reductions in selected HPHCs in a range of 80-99%. This publication indicates that significant reductions in the levels of selected toxicants are likely to reduce toxicant exposure, which BfR stated might be regarded as a discrete benefit compared to combustible cigarettes.

In May 2018, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environment (“RIVM”) published a factsheet on novel tobacco products that heat rather than burn tobacco, focusing on our Platform 1 product. RIVM analyzed the aerosol generated by our Platform 1 product and concluded that the use of this product, while still harmful to health, is probably less harmful than continued smoking.

In June 2018, the Korean Food and Drug Administration (“KFDA”) issued a statement on products that heat rather than burn tobacco. The KFDA tested three heat-not-burn products, one of which was our Platform 1 product. The KFDA confirmed that the levels of the nine HPHCs tested in the aerosol of these products were on average approximately 90% lower compared to those measured in the cigarette smoke of the top five cigarette brands in South Korea. However, the KFDA stated that it could not establish that the tested heat-not-burn products are less harmful than cigarettes. In October 2018, our Korean subsidiary filed a request with a local court seeking information underlying KFDA’s analysis, conclusions and public statements. In May 2020, the court ordered KFDA to produce certain records.

In August 2018, the Science & Technology Committee of the U.K. House of Commons published a report of its inquiry into e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products. The report concluded that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than smoking tobacco. The report also observed that for those smokers who do not accept e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn products may offer a public health benefit despite their relative risk. The report called for a risk-proportionate regulatory environment for both e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products and noted that e-cigarettes should remain the least taxed, cigarettes the most taxed, with heat-not-burn products falling between the two. The U.K. Committee on Advertising Practice announced the removal of a prohibition of health claims in the advertising of e-cigarettes in the U.K. effective November 2018.

In November 2018, the Eurasian Economic Commission (regulatory body of the Eurasian Union consisting of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia) published the results of its commissioned study on novel nicotine-containing products, including our Platform 1 product. The study confirms significantly lower levels of HPHCs in the aerosol generated by this product compared to cigarette smoke.

In January 2019, scientific media published the results of the study of the China National Tobacco Quality Supervision and Test Centre (“CNTQST”) comparing the aerosol generated by our Platform 1 product with cigarette smoke. The CNTQST found that the former contained fewer, and lower levels of, harmful constituents than the latter and concluded that the lower temperature of heating tobacco in our Platform 1 product contributed to the difference. The CNTQST stated that the reduction in emissions of harmful constituents cannot be interpreted as equivalent to a proportionate harm/risk reduction for smokers.

The foregoing scientific findings of government agencies may not be indicative of the measures that the relevant government authorities could take in regulating our products.

We make our scientific findings publicly available for scrutiny and peer review through several channels, including our websites. From time to time, adult consumers, competitors, members of the scientific community, and others inquire into our scientific methodologies, challenge our scientific conclusions or request further study of certain aspects of our RRPs and their health effects. We are committed to a robust and open scientific debate and believe that such debate should be based on accurate and reliable scientific information. We seek to provide accurate and reliable scientific information about our RRPs; nonetheless, we may not be able to prevent third-party dissemination of false, misleading or unsubstantiated information about these products. The dissemination of scientifically unsubstantiated information or studies with a strong confirmation bias by third parties may cause confusion among adult smokers and affect their decision to switch to better alternatives to continued smoking, such as our RRPs.

To date, we have been largely successful in demonstrating to regulators that our heated tobacco units are not cigarettes due to the absence of combustion, and as such they are generally taxed either as a separate category or as other tobacco products, which typically yields more favorable tax rates than cigarettes. Although we believe that this is sensible from the public health perspective, we cannot guarantee that regulators will continue this approach.

There can be no assurance that we will succeed in our efforts to replace cigarettes with RRPs or that regulation will allow us to commercialize RRPs in all markets, to communicate about our RRPs, including making scientifically substantiated risk-reduction claims, or to treat RRPs differently from cigarettes.
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Legal Challenges to RRPs: We face various administrative and legal challenges related to certain RRP activities, including allegations concerning product classification, advertising restrictions, corporate communications, product coach activities, scientific substantiation, product liability, and unfair competition.  While we design our programs to comply with relevant regulations, we expect these or similar challenges to continue as we expand our efforts to commercialize RRPs and to communicate publicly. The outcomes of these matters may affect our RRP commercialization and public communication activities and performance in one or more markets.

Our RRP Business Development Initiatives: In December 2013, we established a strategic framework with Altria Group, Inc. (“Altria”) setting out terms on how the parties would collaborate to develop and commercialize e-vapor products and commercialize two of our RRPs in the U.S. In late 2018, Altria announced that it will participate in the e-vapor category only through another e-vapor company in which Altria acquired a minority interest. In September 2019, Altria's subsidiary, Philip Morris USA Inc. (“PM USA”), began commercialization of a version of our Platform 1 product in the U.S. PM USA is responsible for the marketing of this product in the U.S. and communication of the reduced exposure information authorized by the FDA in its MRTP marketing order described above.

In January 2020, we announced an agreement with KT&G, a leading tobacco and nicotine company in South Korea, for the commercialization of KT&G’s smoke-free products outside of South Korea on an exclusive basis. For more information, see Acquisitions and Other Business Arrangements below.

Other Developments: In September 2017, we announced our support of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. In September 2020, our pledge agreement with the Foundation was amended. We contributed $45 million in 2020 and expect to contribute $40 million in 2021 and $35 million annually from 2022 through 2029, as specified in the amended pledge agreement. To date, we contributed a total of $209.5 million. The Foundation is an independent body and is governed by its independent Board of Directors. The Foundation’s role, as set out in its corporate charter, includes funding research in the field of tobacco harm reduction, encouraging measures that reduce the harm caused by smoking, and assessing the effect of reduced cigarette consumption on the industry value chain.

Governmental Investigations

From time to time, we are subject to governmental investigations on a range of matters, including tax, customs, antitrust, advertising, and labor practices. We describe certain matters pending in Thailand, Russia and South Korea in Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies.

In November 2010, a WTO panel issued its decision in a dispute relating to facts that arose from August 2006 between the Philippines and Thailand concerning a series of Thai customs and tax measures affecting cigarettes imported by PM Thailand into Thailand (see Item 8, Note 17. Contingencies for additional information). The WTO panel decision, which was upheld by the WTO Appellate Body, concluded that Thailand had no basis to find that PM Thailand's declared customs values and taxes paid were too low, as alleged by the Department of Special Investigations of the government of Thailand (“DSI”) in 2009. The decision also created obligations for Thailand to revise its laws, regulations, or practices affecting the customs valuation and tax treatment of future cigarette imports. Thailand agreed in September 2011 to fully comply with the decision by October 2012. The Philippines asserts that to date Thailand has not fully complied with the WTO panel decision and commenced challenges at the WTO Appellate Body. The WTO Appellate Body is not operational, and the appeals by Thailand are suspended indefinitely. In December 2020, the Philippines and Thailand agreed to pursue facilitator-assisted discussions aimed at progressing and resolving outstanding issues. It is not possible to predict any future developments in these proceedings or the outcome of these discussions.

The Public Prosecutor’s office of Rome, Italy, notified our Italian subsidiary, Philip Morris Italia S.r.l. (“PM Italia”), as well as three former or current employees and a former external consultant of PM Italia in July 2020 and March 2020, respectively, that it concluded a preliminary investigation against them for alleged contravention of anti-corruption laws and related disruption of trade freedom. The Public Prosecutor alleges that the individuals involved promised certain personal favors to government officials from January to July of 2018 in exchange for favorable treatment for PM Italia, and that PM Italia lacked appropriate organizational controls to prevent the alleged actions by the individuals. In September 2020, the Public Prosecutor referred the matter to trial. PM Italia believes the charges brought against it by the Public Prosecutor are without merit and will defend them vigorously.

Asset Impairment and Exit Costs

We discuss asset impairment and exit costs in Item 8, Note 19. Asset Impairment and Exit Costs to our consolidated financial statements.

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Acquisitions and Other Business Arrangements

We discuss our acquisitions in Item 8, Note 6. Acquisitions to our consolidated financial statements.

Global Collaboration Agreement with KT&G

In January 2020, PMI announced a global collaboration agreement with the leading tobacco and nicotine company in South Korea, KT&G, to commercialize KT&G’s smoke-free products outside of the country. The agreement will run for an initial period of three years. The two companies plan for global collaboration with the intention to actively expand to cover many markets, based on commercial success. The agreement allows PMI to distribute current KT&G smoke-free products, and their evolutions, on an exclusive basis, and does not restrict PMI from distributing its own or third-party products. KT&G’s smoke-free product brand portfolio includes heat-not-burn tobacco products (e.g., LIL Mini and LIL Plus), hybrid technologies that combine heat-not-burn tobacco and e-vapor technologies (e.g., LIL HYBRID), and e-vapor products (e.g., LIL Vapor). PMI will be responsible for the commercialization of smoke-free products supplied under the agreement.

Products sold under the agreement are subject to careful assessment to ensure they meet the regulatory requirements in the markets where they are launched, as well as our standards of quality and scientific substantiation to confirm the absence of combustion and significant reductions of emissions of harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes. PMI and KT&G will seek any necessary regulatory approvals that may be required on a market-by-market basis. There are no current plans to commercialize KT&G products in the United States.

In the third quarter of 2020, we launched commercial initiatives for licensed KT&G products in select markets.

Equity Investments

We discuss our equity investments in Item 8, Note 4. Related Parties - Equity Investments and Other to our consolidated financial statements.

Trade Policy

We are subject to various trade restrictions imposed by the United States of America and countries in which we do business (“Trade Sanctions”), including the trade and economic sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control and the U.S. Department of State. It is our policy to comply fully with these Trade Sanctions.

Tobacco products are agricultural products under U.S. law and are not technological or strategic in nature. From time to time we make sales in countries subject to Trade Sanctions, either where such sanctions do not apply to our business or pursuant to exemptions or licenses.

A subsidiary sells products to distributors that, in turn, sell those products to duty free customers that supply U.N. peacekeeping forces around the world, including those in the U.N. peacekeeping mission located in Abyei, a special administrative territory in Sudan. We do not believe that these sales, which are not subject to Trade Sanctions, and are de minimis in volume and value, present a material risk to our shareholders, our reputation or the value of our shares. We have no employees, operations or assets in Sudan.

We do not sell products in Iran, North Korea and Syria. From time to time, we explore opportunities to sell our products in one or more of these countries, as permitted by law.

We sell cigarettes in Cuba under a distribution agreement. These sales are permitted by U.S. law under a License Exception for Agricultural Commodities, issued by the United States Department of Commerce (Bureau of Industry and Security), granted to our distributor.

Certain states within the U.S. have enacted legislation permitting or requiring state pension funds to divest or abstain from future investment in stocks of companies that do business with certain countries that are sanctioned by the U.S. Because we do business in certain of these countries, these state pension funds may have divested of our stock or may not invest in our stock. We do not believe such legislation has had a material effect on the price of our shares.



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2020 compared with 2019

The following discussion compares operating results within each of our operating segments for 2020 with 2019.

Unless otherwise stated, references to total industry, total market, our shipment volume and our market share performance reflect cigarettes and heated tobacco units. Estimates for total industry volume and market share in certain geographies reflect limitations on the availability and accuracy of industry data.

European Union:
Financial Summary -
Years Ended
December 31,
Change
Fav./(Unfav.)
Variance
Fav./(Unfav.)
2020 2019 Total Excl.
Curr.
Total Cur-
rency
Price Vol/
Mix
Cost/
Other
(in millions)
Net Revenues 10,702  9,817  9.0  % 8.8  % $ 885  $ 21  $ 187  $ 677  $ — 
Operating Income 5,098  3,970  28.4  % 29.0  % $ 1,128  $ (24) $ 187  $ 663  $ 302 

Net revenues, excluding favorable currency, increased by 8.8%, reflecting: favorable volume/mix, mainly driven by higher heated tobacco unit volume across the Region (notably in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Poland), partly offset by lower cigarette volume (notably in the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and Spain, partly offset by Germany) and lower cigarette mix (mainly in Germany); and a favorable pricing variance (driven by higher combustible pricing, notably in Germany, partly offset by lower heated tobacco unit and IQOS device pricing).

Operating income, excluding unfavorable currency, increased by 29.0%, notably reflecting a favorable comparison, shown in "Cost/Other," of asset impairment and exit costs recorded in 2020 associated with organizational design optimization ($57 million), to those recorded in 2019 associated with a plant closure in Germany ($342 million).

Excluding these asset impairment and exit costs, as well as unfavorable currency of $24 million, operating income increased by 20.1%, primarily reflecting: favorable volume/mix, mainly driven by the same factors as for net revenues noted above; a favorable pricing variance; and lower manufacturing costs (notably in Germany); partly offset by higher marketing, administration and research costs (mainly related to increased investments behind reduced-risk products, notably in Germany and Poland).


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European Union - Total Market, PMI Shipment and Market Share Commentaries

Total market, PMI shipment volume and market share performance are shown in the table below:
European Union Key Data Full-Year
Change
2020 2019 % / pp
Total Market (billion units) 472.7 482.8 (2.1) %
PMI Shipment Volume (million units)
Cigarettes 163,420 174,319 (6.3) %
Heated Tobacco Units 19,842 12,569 57.9  %
Total European Union 183,262 186,888 (1.9) %
PMI Market Share
Marlboro 17.5  % 18.0  % (0.5)
L&M 6.2  % 6.7  % (0.5)
Chesterfield 5.5  % 5.8  % (0.3)
Philip Morris 2.4  % 2.7  % (0.3)
HEETS 4.2  % 2.5  % 1.7 
Others 3.1  % 3.1  % — 
Total European Union 38.9  % 38.8  % 0.1 
Note: HEETS includes HEETS Dimensions.
The estimated total market in the EU decreased by 2.1% to 472.7 billion units, notably due to:
Czech Republic, down by 10.9%, primarily reflecting lower border sales due to lockdown measures;
France, down by 3.6%, mainly reflecting the impact of significant excise tax-driven price increases, partly offset by the pandemic-related impact of lower cross-border (non-domestic) purchases and a lower estimated prevalence of illicit trade due to border restrictions; and
Spain, down by 7.8%, primarily reflecting lower in-bound tourism and border sales due to the pandemic;
partly offset by
Germany, up by 1.9%, notably reflecting the pandemic-related impact of lower cross-border (non-domestic) purchases and reduced out-bound tourism, partly offset by the impact of retail price increases in the first quarter of 2020 and adult smoker out-switching to other combustible tobacco products.
Our total shipment volume decreased by 1.9% to 183.3 billion units, reflecting:
lower cigarette shipment volume, mainly due to the lower total market and lower cigarette market share (notably in Italy and Poland, partly reflecting out-switching to heated tobacco units);
partly offset by
higher heated tobacco unit shipment volume across the Region (notably in Germany, Italy and Poland), driven by higher market share.
Our Regional market share increased by 0.1 point to 38.9%, with gains in Germany and Italy, partly offset by a decline in Poland.

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Eastern Europe:
Financial Summary -
Years Ended
December 31,
Change
Fav./(Unfav.)
Variance
Fav./(Unfav.)
2020 2019 Total Excl.
Curr.
Total Cur-
rency
Price Vol/
Mix
Cost/
Other
(in millions)
Net Revenues 3,378  3,282  2.9  % 10.9  % $ 96  $ (263) $ 162  $ 197  $ — 
Operating Income 871  547  59.2  % +100% $ 324  $ (299) $ 162  $ 146  $ 315 

Net revenues, excluding unfavorable currency, increased by 10.9%, reflecting: favorable volume/mix, predominantly driven by higher heated tobacco unit volume across the Region (notably in Russia and Ukraine) and higher heated tobacco unit mix (mainly in Russia), partly offset by unfavorable cigarette volume (primarily in Russia and Ukraine, partially offset by Israel) and unfavorable cigarette mix (mainly in Russia); and a favorable pricing variance, driven by higher combustible pricing (primarily in Russia and Ukraine), partly offset by lower IQOS device pricing (mainly in Russia).

Operating income, excluding unfavorable currency, increased by over 100%, primarily reflecting a favorable comparison, shown in "Cost/Other," mainly due to a charge recorded in 2019 of $374 million, related to the Russia excise and VAT audit.

Excluding the 2019 Russia excise and VAT audit charge of $374 million, the 2020 charge for asset impairment and exit costs of $15 million and unfavorable currency of $299 million, operating income increased by 28.7%, reflecting: a favorable pricing variance; favorable volume/mix, driven by the same factors as for net revenues noted above; and lower manufacturing costs; partly offset by higher marketing, administration and research costs (partly related to increased investments behind reduced-risk products, notably in Russia and Ukraine).

Eastern Europe - Total Market, PMI Shipment Volume and Market Share Commentaries

The estimated total market in Eastern Europe decreased by 4.6% to 379.4 billion units, notably due to:
Russia, down by 3.3%, primarily reflecting the impact of price increases, partly offset by a lower estimated prevalence of illicit trade due to pandemic-related border restrictions; and
Ukraine, down by 10.2%, mainly reflecting the impact of excise tax-driven price increases.

Our Regional market share increased by 1.8 points to 30.5%.
PMI Shipment Volume (million units) Full-Year
2020 2019 Change
Cigarettes 93,462  100,644  (7.1) %
Heated Tobacco Units 20,898  13,453  55.3  %
Total Eastern Europe 114,360  114,097  0.2  %

Our total shipment volume increased by 0.2% to 114.4 billion units, mainly due to:
Russia, up by 1.8%, or by 3.9% excluding the net unfavorable impact of estimated distributor inventory movements, primarily reflecting a higher market share, driven by heated tobacco units, partly offset by the lower total market;
partly offset by
Ukraine, down by 4.3%, mainly due to the lower total market, partly offset by a higher market share driven by heated tobacco units.


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Middle East & Africa:
Financial Summary -
Years Ended
December 31,
Change
Fav./(Unfav.)
Variance
Fav./(Unfav.)
2020 2019 Total Excl.
Curr.
Total Cur-
rency
Price Vol/
Mix
Cost/
Other
(in millions)
Net Revenues 3,088  4,042  (23.6) % (21.7) % $ (954) $ (77) $ 186  $ (1,001) $ (62)
Operating Income 1,026  1,684  (39.1) % (35.2) % $ (658) $ (65) $ 186  $ (784) $

Net revenues, excluding unfavorable currency, decreased by 21.7%, reflecting: unfavorable volume/mix, mainly due to lower cigarette volume, heated tobacco unit volume and IQOS device volume in PMI Duty Free, as well as lower cigarette volume in South Africa and Turkey; and lower fees for certain distribution rights billed to customers in certain markets, shown in "Cost/Other"; partially offset by a favorable pricing variance, driven by combustible pricing (mainly in the GCC, particularly Saudi Arabia, as well as North Africa and PMI Duty Free, partly offset by Turkey).

Operating income, excluding unfavorable currency, decreased by 35.2%, mainly reflecting: unfavorable volume/mix, predominantly due to lower cigarette and heated tobacco unit volume in PMI Duty Free; and lower fees for certain distribution rights as noted above for net revenues; partially offset by a favorable pricing variance; and lower marketing, administration and research costs.

Excluding asset impairment and exit costs of $19 million in 2020 and unfavorable currency of $65 million, operating income decreased by 34.1%.

Middle East & Africa - Total Market, PMI Shipment Volume and Market Share Commentaries

The estimated total market in the Middle East & Africa decreased by 8.0% to 546.4 billion units, mainly due to:
International Duty Free, down by 62.0%, reflecting the impact of government travel restrictions and reduced passenger traffic due to the pandemic;
South Africa, down by 35.5%, primarily reflecting the impact of the pandemic-related ban on all tobacco sales from March 27, 2020, through August 17, 2020;
Turkey, down by 4.2%, mainly reflecting the impact of lockdown measures on adult smoker average daily consumption, as well as a higher prevalence of illicit trade related to cut tobacco, particularly during the first-half of 2020, following significant industry-wide cigarette price increases in 2019; and
The UAE, down by 38.1%, primarily reflecting the adverse impact on low-price brands from the implementation of a minimum excise tax and digital tax stamps in the second half of 2019.

Our Regional market share decreased by 1.4 points to 22.0%.
PMI Shipment Volume (million units) Full-Year
2020 2019 Change
Cigarettes 117,999  134,568  (12.3) %
Heated Tobacco Units 1,022  2,654  (61.5) %
Total Middle East & Africa 119,021  137,222  (13.3) %

Our total shipment volume decreased by 13.3% to 119.0 billion units, notably due to:

PMI Duty Free, down by 70.8%, or by 58.8% excluding the net unfavorable impact of estimated distributor inventory movements (principally due to cigarettes), mainly reflecting the lower total market; and
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Turkey, down by 8.5%, mainly reflecting the lower total market and a lower market share, notably due to adult smoker down-trading following the 2019 price increases.


South & Southeast Asia:
Financial Summary -
Years Ended
December 31,
Change
Fav./(Unfav.)
Variance
Fav./(Unfav.)
2020 2019 Total Excl.
Curr.
Total Cur-
rency
Price Vol/
Mix
Cost/
Other
(in millions)
Net Revenues 4,396  5,094  (13.7) % (13.3) % $ (698) $ (19) $ (44) $ (635) $ — 
Operating Income 1,709  2,163  (21.0) % (21.1) % $ (454) $ $ (44) $ (457) $ 45 

Net revenues, excluding unfavorable currency, decreased by 13.3%, reflecting: unfavorable volume/mix, primarily due to lower cigarette volume in Indonesia and the Philippines, partly offset by favorable cigarette mix in Indonesia; and an unfavorable pricing variance, due to combustible pricing in Indonesia, partly offset by the Philippines.

Operating income, excluding favorable currency, decreased by 21.1%, mainly reflecting: unfavorable volume/mix, due to the same factors as for net revenues noted above; and an unfavorable pricing variance; partly offset by lower marketing, administration and research costs (primarily in Indonesia).

Excluding asset impairment and exit costs of $23 million in 2020 and $20 million in 2019, as well as favorable currency of $2 million, operating income decreased by 20.8%.

South & Southeast Asia - Total Market, PMI Shipment Volume and Market Share Commentaries

The estimated total market in South & Southeast Asia decreased by 8.7% to 672.3 billion units, notably due to:
India, down by 17.9%, mainly reflecting the impact of lockdown restrictions on the movement of certain products, including tobacco;
Indonesia, down by 9.6%, mainly reflecting the impact of excise tax-driven price increases and pandemic-related measures on adult smoker average daily consumption;
Pakistan, down by 10.3%, mainly reflecting the impact of excise tax-driven price increases in June 2019 and price increases on PMI value brands in February 2020; and
the Philippines, down by 12.0%, mainly reflecting the impact of pandemic-related quarantines, as well as industry-wide price increases in the third quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2020.

Our Regional market share decreased by 2.2 points to 21.5%.

PMI Shipment Volume (million units) Full-Year
2020 2019 Change
Cigarettes 144,788  174,934  (17.2) %
Heated Tobacco Units 36  —  —  %
Total South & Southeast Asia 144,824  174,934  (17.2) %

Our total shipment volume decreased by 17.2% to 144.8 billion units, notably due to:
Indonesia, down by 19.3%, reflecting the lower total market, as well as a lower market share, mainly due to: adult smoker down-trading to the tax-advantaged 'below tier one' segment, the impact of elevated price gaps in the tier one segment (partly due to the
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delay in minimum price enforcement), and the disproportionate impact of stricter public mobility restrictions in urban areas, where PMI’s share is higher;
Pakistan, down by 20.0%, mainly reflecting the lower total market and a lower market share, mainly due to low-price Morven; and
the Philippines, down by 16.1%, mainly reflecting the lower total market and a lower market share, primarily for mid-price Fortune due to the impact of price increases in the third quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2020.


East Asia & Australia:
Financial Summary -
Years Ended
December 31,
Change
Fav./(Unfav.)
Variance
Fav./(Unfav.)
2020 2019 Total Excl.
Curr.
Total Cur-
rency
Price Vol/
Mix
Cost/
Other
(in millions)
Net Revenues 5,429  5,364  1.2  % 0.6  % $ 65  $ 33  $ 168  $ (136) $ — 
Operating Income 2,400  1,932  24.2  % 23.1  % $ 468  $ 21  $ 168  $ (68) $ 347 

Net revenues, excluding favorable currency, increased by 0.6%, reflecting: a favorable pricing variance, mainly driven by higher heated tobacco and combustible pricing in Japan, partly offset by lower IQOS device pricing in Japan; and unfavorable volume/mix, mainly due to lower cigarette volume (primarily in Japan), unfavorable cigarette mix in Australia, lower device volume/mix in Japan and lower heated tobacco unit mix in Japan, partly offset by higher heated tobacco unit volume in Japan.

Operating income, excluding favorable currency, increased by 23.1%, mainly reflecting: lower marketing, administration and research costs (notably in Japan); lower manufacturing costs (mainly related to Japan and Korea); and a favorable pricing variance; partly offset by unfavorable volume/mix, mainly due to lower cigarette volume (primarily in Japan), unfavorable cigarette mix in Australia and lower heated tobacco unit mix in Japan, partly offset by higher heated tobacco unit volume in Japan.

Excluding asset impairment and exit costs of $26 million in 2020 and favorable currency of $21 million, operating income increased by 24.5%.

East Asia & Australia - Total Market, PMI Shipment Volume and Market Share Commentaries

The estimated total market in East Asia & Australia, excluding China, decreased by 3.6% to 288.6 billion units, notably due to:
Australia, down by 8.8%, primarily reflecting the impact of excise tax-driven price increases; and
Japan, down by 9.4%, mainly reflecting the impact of excise tax-driven price increases, reduced adult smoker consumption occasions due to pandemic-related measures, as well as adult smoker out-switching from cigarettes to the cigarillo category;
partly offset by
Korea, up by 4.4%, mainly reflecting the shift of adult smokers from duty-free to domestic purchases due to the pandemic-related decline in international travel; and
Taiwan, up by 5.4%, primarily driven by the same factor as for Korea.

Our Regional market share, excluding China, increased by 0.3 points to 27.2%.



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PMI Shipment Volume (million units) Full-Year
2020 2019 Change
Cigarettes 45,100  49,951  (9.7) %
Heated Tobacco Units