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General Cigar Second Quarter News

General Cigar Shows No Signs Of Slowing Down!

Second Quarter New Products and Promotions Set the Stage for an Exciting RTDA

New York, NY-With RTDA just two months away, General Cigar's marketing and sales teams are toiling to debut new products at retail and execute exciting sales promotions and events, all while working to make their showing at this year's RTDA one of the biggest yet.

New product launches abound for General Cigar in the second quarter. Macanudo , America 's best selling premium cigar welcomes two new frontmarks: Macanudo® Gold Label Hampton Court and Macanudo Maduro Crystal, while Partagas® Black Label Corona and Partagas Spanish Rosado Gigante are making news for the popular Partagas brands. Cohiba Black rounds out the trilogy with the introduction of Cohiba® Black Pequenos.

A shining addition to America 's best selling premium cigar brand, Macanudo Gold Label Hampton Court (5 1/2" x 42) will make its retail premier in June. Known for its remarkably supple golden Connecticut Shade wrapper leaves, Macanudo Gold Label Hampton Court comes packed in a flavor-sealing tube and marks the seventh frontmark in the line which debuted in 2002. Its suggested retail price is $6.50 per cigar, or $162.50 for a 25-count box.

Macanudo Maduro Crystal (5 1/2" x 50) arrived at retail in May, bearing a rich Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper highlighted in an elegant and durable glass tube. While individual cigars will sell at retail for $6.80 per cigar, Macanudo Maduro Crystal cigars will be cradled in an eight-count box which carries an SRP of $54.40.

A fuller-flavored favorite, Partagas Black Label recently welcomed a corona-sized offering (5 1/2" x 45). Currently available at tobacconists, the Partagas Black Label Corona sells for $5.50 per cigar, or $110 for a 20-count box. The new size bears the trademark dark appearance and extra rich taste that have made Partagas Black Label a go-to cigar for the seasoned smoker.

Partagas Spanish Rosado Gigante (6" x 60) caters to the trend for large ring cigars, while delivering its characteristically distinctive flavor derived from its Honduran San Agustin wrapper. Available as of late May, Partagas Spanish Rosado's Gigante frontmark will be available individually for $6.50 per cigar, or in 25-count boxes that will sell for $162.50.

The luxury of Cohiba Black can soon be had in a small-size indulgence, thanks to the upcoming debut of Cohiba Black Pequenos (4 3/16" x 36) which will be available at retail starting in mid-June. For those who demand the rich, super-premium taste of Cohiba Black in a cigar that can be enjoyed almost any time, Cohiba Pequenos are the answer. Protected in a striking, portable black tin containing six cigars, Cohiba Black Pequenos will sell for $14.30 per tin.

General Cigar's assertive schedule of "retail-tainment" events continues to reign supreme, with the addition of several exciting programs coming soon to tobacconists across the U.S. Punch Photo, Punch Ambassador, Punch Poker, Partagas Roulette, Partagas Quality and La Gloria Cubana cigars events are joined by Macanudo Factory Ambassador events beginning in June.

Consumers and retailers alike will have their burning questions about cigar-making answered beginning in June. All the while, they're set to be wowed by the five Macanudo Factory Ambassadors who will traverse the United States to extol the praises of the perennial best seller, while sharing the knowledge culled from intensive training within General Cigar Dominicana's farms and factories. During factory ambassador events, retailers will offer a buy-three, get-one-free special on Macanudo four-packs, which contain four expressions of Macanudo Hampton Court (Macanudo Cafe, Robust, Maduro and Gold Label). Exciting cigar-related prizes and gift certificates for redemption within the host store, will also be offered during factory ambassador events.

Bolivar® Rolling events recently debuted to select tobacconists across the U.S. Fresh from the nimble hands of a General Cigar roller, Bolivar cigars are handcrafted in-store and are given to consumers. A General Cigar ambassador works with the cigar roller to ensure that consumers learn about the blend that's made Bolivar a fast favorite among the cigar smoking brethren.

Believing that good things come in threes, General Cigar has a lineup of exciting three packs appearing at retail during

Q2-07. Partagas, Punch®, Sancho Panza®, Helix® and Helix Remix® are enjoying their own brand of threesome.

With just one purchase, cigar lovers can enjoy three uniquely rich tastes of Partagas for the price of two. Currently on sale at retail, the Partagas Three Pack contains best-selling offerings including Partagas Naturales, Partagas Black Label Clasico and Partagas Spanish Rosado Agustin. With an SRP of just $11.10 per three-pack, consumers can easily sample the brand that has a trademark on taste.

Also currently available at retail is the Punch Gran Puro Three Pack which affords consumers the opportunity to enjoy the all-Honduran cigars that "taste similar to a Havana ". For the purchase price of Punch Gran Puro frontmarks Pico Bonito and Rancho ($8.60) consumers get the three-pack which includes a free Punch Gran Puro Santa Rita cigar.

Beginning in June, cigar lovers will have the chance to sample three robusto-sized Sancho Panza cigars in a buy-two-get-one-free sample pack that showcases the quality and outstanding value of the critically-acclaimed brand. Included in the three-pack which will sell for an SRP of $7.25, is Sancho Panza Natural (Valiente frontmark), Double Maduro (Quixote frontmark) and Extra Fuerte ( Pamplona frontmark).

The Helix Tubo Sampler which debuted earlier this month is making waves at retail. The offer contains three Helix tubos for the price of two, and features two Helix Tubular Natural cigars and one Helix Tubular Maduro cigar. At $7.90 for the three pack, the Helix Tubo Sampler bears the striking, cutting edge identity that has made Helix a favorite among the next generation of cigar smokers.

Sister brand Helix Remix® will follow suit with its own three-pack (the Helix Remix Sampler) which will be available at retail before the end of June. Mixed with the sweet taste of amaretto-flavored liqueur, and coupled with a creamy Connecticut Shade wrapper, Helix Remix cigars embody the flavored premium cigar trend. For a suggested retail price of $6.40, consumers can enjoy the flavorful three-pack which houses a Helix Remix Robusto, Helix Remix Corona and Helix Remix Petit Corona.

Just after the second quarter closes and RTDA/third quarter begins, La Gloria Cubana will release its own three-pack offering containing the venerable brand's most popular frontmarks. Beginning in July, the three packs which contain natural varieties of the Corona Gorda, Churchill and Wavell frontmark will sell for $9.45 for pack, which is the purchase price of the Corona Gorda and Churchill frontmarks. The Wavell frontmark, the one which put La Gloria Cubana cigars on the map with critical acclaim, is included for free.

As if the new products and promotions detailed above weren't enough, General Cigar is also rolling out quarterly shipments for perennial limited edition favorites including Macanudo Vintage 2000 and Cohiba XV. Both brands will available until their allotments have been depleted at retail, and will be replenished with limited allocations later this year.

About General Cigar

General Cigar Co., Inc., a subsidiary of Swedish Match, manufactures and markets handcrafted cigars for the premium market. Passionate about delivering cigars of the finest quality, General Cigar produces Macanudo, Partagas, Cohiba, Punch®, Excalibur®, Hoyo de Monterrey®, La Gloria Cubana® and several other industry-leading brands, which are sold through tobacconists nationwide. In addition, the company grows its own proprietary Connecticut Shade wrapper tobacco, as well as natural and candela wrapper in the Dominican Republic . General Cigar also operates Club Macanudo®, a cigar bar in New York City.

® Macanudo cigars, Partagas cigars, Cohiba cigars, Bolivar cigars, Sancho Panza cigars, Punch cigars, Excalibur, Hoyo de Monterrey cigars, La Gloria Cubana cigars and Club Macanudo cigars are registered trademarks of General Cigar Co., Inc.

Friday, June 04, 2004

General Cigar Second Quarter News