Cuba says cigar sales up 8 percent in 2013

Associated Press

HAVANA (AP) — Cuban cigar officials say sales of the island's famous hand-rolled stogies rose about 8 percent last year.

Ana Lopez is a marketing executive with Habanos SA, a mixed-ownership enterprise involving the state-owned Cubatabaco and the British company Altadis, which is based in Spain.

Lopez says sales were $447 million in 2013, up from $416 million the previous year.

Company vice president Javier Terres cites growth in Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern markets.

They spoke Monday on the opening day of Havana's annual International Cigar Festival.

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