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Richard L. DiMeola

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Consolidated Cigar Corporation
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96

(continued from page 8)

DiMeola: Today? I don't know; about 2 million--in that neighborhood. When we bought that factory four and a half years ago, we were producing 2.2 million cigars. Today, it's producing 12 million. We could have taken it to 15 million but we didn't want to use junk tobacco.

CA: How big is Consolidated's production?

DiMeola: In premium cigars, in 1995, we produced 45 million from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Mexico.

CA: Could you break that out by country?

DiMeola: Twenty-five million from the D.R., 12 million from Honduras and eight million from Mexico.

CA: Can you tell us in terms of the machine-made cigars?

DiMeola: About 4 million machine-made in the Dominican Republic, and that's all the [premium] machine-made we do.

CA: So, of the 45 million produced outside the United States, 41 million are handmade and four million are machine-made. Just as an overview number, could you tell us the total quantity of cigars from the company?

DiMeola: I don't remember. It's big--a billion. We used to say a billion. It fell off a billion, but we're climbing back. It's probably approaching a billion when you get back to putting the little cigars in.

CA: Can you tell us a little about the partnership you had with a company that had the worldwide rights to some Cuban cigar brands? What eventually happened to it?

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