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An Interview With Guillermo León

President, León Jimenes Cigars
Gordon Mott
From the Print Edition:
Chuck Norris, Jul/Aug 98

(continued from page 5)

León: More or less, with some production going to private-label brands, and it also includes some cigars made by machine. For 1998, we had projections to get to 15 million, with the prospect of opening up some new markets, because we still have large new markets in Europe where we believe our cigars will go. But the way things are going, we are only rising at about an 18 percent annual rate, so we may not even reach 14 million.

CA: For the first three months of 1998, you have seen increases of about 18 percent?

León: Yes.

CA: In the current climate in the U.S. market, that is actually quite good, don't you think?

León: Yes, I think that the way things are going with all the new manufacturers, 18 percent is quite healthy. It's just not up to our projections.

CA: How many factories do you have now producing for you?

León: For us? Just one.

CA: How many people work there?

León: We just recently reduced the workforce because we had too much inventory. We were negotiating for a new distribution deal in Europe, but the deal fell through. We had increased our inventory in anticipation of that deal.

CA: What's your inventory level right now?

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