10.2 The manufacturing industry in Australia

Last updated: November 2016 

Suggested citation: Scollo, M, Bayly, M. 10.2 The manufacturing industry in Australia. In Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH [editors]. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and issues. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria; 2016. Available from http://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/chapter-10-tobacco-industry/10-2-the-manufacturing-industry-in-australia

The Australian tobacco industry is a subset of the global industry. All three major tobacco companies which operate in Australia—British American Tobacco Australia, Philip Morris International (Australia) and Imperial Tobacco Australia—are wholly owned subsidiaries of their overseas parent. Although the Australian tobacco market is considered to be mature and per capita consumption is in decline, the tobacco companies remain highly profitable entities and continue to successfully operate despite the challenging regulatory environment. In 2015, an estimated 16,213.5 million cigarettes were sold in Australia, the equivalent of 1,234 packs of 25 cigarettes per minute (this does not include roll-your-own tobacco, which has increased in consumption).1

Overseas ownership of the Australian companies means that no tobacco company is currently listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and that the availability of information specific to local company operations is limited. British American Tobacco Australiai and Philip Morrisii International both offer websites with some information about their Australian operations, but Imperial Tobacco Australia provides little in the way of Australian data. Most of the information used in the following sections discussing the Australian tobacco companies and their operating environment has been sourced from reports provided to shareholders, reports to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, and literature published by various trade and marketing associations.

As of 2016, no tobacco products are manufactured in Australia. Philip Morris International (Australia) closed its Australian manufacturing facility in 2014,2 and British American Tobacco Australia did so in 2015.3 Most brands sold by Imperial Tobacco Australia, which entered the market following the merger of WD & HO Wills and Rothmans in 1999, are manufactured in New Zealand. A smaller tobacco company, Richland Express, imports several cigarette and roll-your-own tobacco brands specifically for the Australian market. In addition, a small number of companies import speciality products and brands. Chapter 10, Sections 10.3–10.6 provide further detail on the size and composition of the Australian tobacco industry.

i See: http://www.bata.com.au/
ii See: http://www.pmi.com/

Recent news and research

For recent news items and research on this topic, click here  (Last updated May 2017)  



1. Euromonitor International. Tobacco in Australia. London: Euromonitor International, 2015, [viewed 27 October 2016] . Available from: http://www.euromonitor.com/tobacco 

2. British American Tobacco. BAT forced to close Australian factory, 2014. Available from: http://www.bata.com.au/group/sites/bat_9rnflh.nsf/vwPagesWebLive/DOA3CJ8E/$FILE/medMD9QD9EF.pdf?openelement

3. Philip Morris International. Country overview. Available at: http://www.pmi.com/marketpages/pages/market_en_au.aspx 

      Previous Chapter Next Chapter