15 Largest Cigar Companies in the World

By Chris Kolmar - Feb. 23, 2021

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The global cigar and cigarillos market was worth over $18 billion in 2020 and is expected to exceed $21.02 billion by 2025.

Cigars are finally growing in popularity among young consumers in many countries, marking a reversal of a decades-long trend in the opposite direction.

Experts attribute this growth to a variety of factors, such as higher taxes associated with conventional cigarettes driving consumers towards alternatives such as cigars.

Many cigar companies are also beginning to market towards women and other demographics that they have traditionally avoided, further driving demand.

In this article, we’ll discuss the 15 largest cigar companies in the world to provide insight into where the industry is and how it’s transitioning.

The 15 largest cigar companies as of early 2021 are:

  1. Imperial Brands plc. England, UK

    Stock ticker: IMP
    Market cap: $19.76 billion
    Revenue: $34 billion
    Net income: $1.62 billion

    Imperial Brands plc, formerly known as Imperial Tobacco Group plc, is by far the largest manufacturer of cigars in the world.

    The company employs over 32,000 workers, operates 51 factories across the world, and enjoys significant sales in over 160 countries.

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    Altadis USA, simply a subsidiary of Imperial Brands, owns over half of the entire United States’ Cuban cigar market. Imperial Brands also owns hundreds of other notable cigar brands through its many various subsidiaries.

    Perhaps the greatest reason for the difference between Imperial Brands’ cigars sales and every other company on this list is their presence and exposure to the wider tobacco industry.

    While many other large cigar companies focus just on cigars, Imperial Brands actually generates most of its revenue through cigarettes and then uses those sales to subsidize its cigar business.

    The company’s presence in the cigarette industry also allows it to purchase tobacco in greater bulk, build more factories, and build relationships with more distributors around the world.

    Some of Imperial Brands’ best-selling cigar brands include Montecristo, Trinidad, and Romeo y Julieta.

  2. Scandinavian Tobacco Group. Copenhagen, Denmark

    Stock ticker: DKK
    Market cap: $11.68 billion
    Revenue: $1.8 billion
    Net Income: $342 million

    Scandinavian Tobacco Group is a manufacturer of cigars and pipe tobacco that owns many of the top-selling cigar brands in the world.

    The company sells over three billion cigars each year and possesses a massive cigar brand portfolio of over 200 different products, including well-known names such as Cohiba, CAO, and Macanudo.

    Scandivanian Tobacco Group reached its market-leading position by making many strategic acquisitions throughout the years.

    For example, the group acquired the online catalog and retail business PipesandCigars.com in 2013, allowing them to increase consumer preferences towards their own brands.

    In 2018, the company acquired Thompson Cigar to greatly expand its presence in the United States. The following year, they also acquired Royal Agio Cigars, instantly making them the leading producer of cigars and cigarillos in western Europe.

  3. General Cigar Company. Richmond, Virginia

    Stock ticker: PM
    Market cap: $134.12 billion
    Revenue: $79.82 billion
    Net Income: $7.91 billion

    General Cigar Company, a subsidiary of Scandivanian Tobacco Group, is the world’s largest manufacturer of premium cigars.

    Although founded in 1901, the company first saw widespread success in the United States when it acquired Gradiaz Annis and gained access to the Macanudo brand, which was and remains one of the top-selling cigar brands in the country.

    The company also owns the Ramon Allones, CAO, and Cohiba brands, which all rank among the best-selling premium cigar brands.

    Scandivanian Tobacco Group acquired General Cigar Company in 2016.

  4. Altadis. Madrid, Spain

    Stock ticker: IMB
    Market cap: $19.76 billion
    Revenue: $52.4 billion
    Net income: $2.06 billion

    Altadis is a multinational manufacturer of cigars, cigarettes, and other tobacco products. The company formed via a merger in 1999 with Tabacalera and SEITA, the largest cigar companies in Spain and France, respectively.

    Prior to the company’s acquisition by the British tobacco conglomerate Imperial Brands for over $19 billion, Altadis was the largest producer of cigars in the world.

    Although a subsidiary, Altadis still operates under its own name. Its United States division, for example, is named Altadis USA.

    Altadis owns half of Habanos S.A., Cuba’s state tobacco monopoly, as well as 800-JR Cigar, one of the largest online cigar retailers in the United States.

    Some of the company’s top-selling and most established brands include Don Diego, Antonio y Cleopatra, and Dutch Masters.

  5. Habanos S.A. Havana, Cuba

    Stock ticker: N/A
    Market cap: N/A
    Revenue: $563 million
    Net income: N/A

    Habanos S.A. is a Cuban partially state-owned company that solely controls the distribution, promotion, and export of Cuban cigars around the world.

    It formed through a merger between fully state-owned Cubatadabaco and global cigar giant Altadis.

    The company manufactures the popular Cuban cigar brands Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, and Cohiba.

    Habanos S.A. sells its products to every country in the world other than the United States, which has maintained a trade embargo against Cuba in 1962.

    To prevent counterfeiting and control distribution, the company always chooses a single company within any given country to export to.

    For example, Habanos S.A. sells its premium cigars through Hunters & Frankau in the United Kingdom and Intertabak in Switzerland.

  6. Swedish Match. Stockholm, Sweden

    Stock ticker: SWMA
    Market cap: $6.43 billion
    Revenue: $1.69 billion
    Net income: $450 million

    Swedish Match is a multinational company that produces a wide variety of tobacco-based products, including cigars, chewing tobacco, and moist snuff.

    The company employs over 6,300 workers and operates in 11 different countries. Its products are sold worldwide, although most sales originate in the United States and Scandinavia.

    As of 2014, Swedish Match produced over one billion of the five billion cigars sold in the United States each year. The company’s total manufacturing capacity exceeded over three billion during the same year.

    Swedish Match’s best-selling cigar brands are Game by Garcia y Vega, White Owl, and Garcia Y Vega.

  7. Arturo Fuente. Tampa, Florida

    Stock ticker: N/A
    Market cap: N/A
    Revenue: $592 million
    Net income: N/A

    Arturo Fuente is a cigar company that manufactures the Ashton and Arturo Fuente brands of cigars, which are both international best-sellers.

    The company originally formed in 1912, but operated only locally until the 1960s.

    Following the United States’ embargo of Cuba, Arturo Fuente exploded in sales due to their hand-rolled premium cigars that were similar to the popular Cuban cigars that had become unobtainable.

    The company’s steady growth has persisted through the decades. In 2010, Arturo Fuente’s production capability exceeded 30 million cigars each year.

    Their products range from premium to inexpensive. Many cigar experts and enthusiasts regard the Fuente Fuente Opus X as the company’s flagship offering.

    Arturo Fuente maintains a production agreement with the J.C. Newman Cigar Company, wherein each company helps the other produce whichever types of cigars their own factories are better equipped to manufacture.

  8. Oettinger Davidoff AG. Basel, Switzerland

    Stock ticker: N/A
    Market cap: N/A
    Revenue: $476 billion
    Net income: N/A

    Oettinger Davidoff AG, also simply called Davidoff, is a manufacturer of premium cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco ancillary products.

    The company was acquired by Imperial Brands in 2006, although it still operates under its former name. This is due to its flagship cigar brand, Davidoff, being one of the best-selling cigar brands in the world.

    Davidoff operates a production plant in Honduras and three factories in the Dominican Republic. Although it sources the majority of its tobacco through independent farms, it does own a few plantations across Brazil.

    In addition to Davidoff, the company manages popular cigar brands such as Camacho, AVO, and Winston Churchill.

  9. Swisher. Jacksonville, Florida

    Stock ticker: N/A
    Market cap: N/A
    Revenue: $582 million
    Net income: N/A

    Formerly known as Swisher International Inc, Swisher is an American manufacturer of cigars and tobacco.

    The company sells its products in over 70 different countries and produces approximately two billion cigars each year. Most of its manufacturing facilities are based in the Dominican Republic and West Virginia.

    Swisher’s flagship brand, Swisher Sweets, consistently ranks among the best-selling cigar brands in the world almost every year.

    In the United States, Swisher Sweets Original and Swisher Sweets Diamonds are the first and second most popular large-cigars in the country. Together, the sales of the two products exceed those of the next five best-selling large-cigar brands combined.

  10. Thompson Cigar. Tampa, Florida

    Stock ticker: N/A
    Market cap: N/A
    Revenue: $100 million
    Net income: N/A

    Thompson Cigar is not only one of the largest cigar manufacturers in the United States, but the oldest mail-order cigar company in the country as well.

    Owned by Scandivanian Tobacco Group, the company sells its private label cigars, boutique cigars, and smoking accessories to over 600,000 active customers and enjoys 167,800 website views each month.

    Approximately 69% of Thompson Cigars’ customer base is composed of a more affluent, male demographic.

    The company also runs the United States’ largest inventory storage humidor, which it uses to store inventory.

  11. Eastern Co SAE. Cairo, Egypt

    Stock ticker: EAST.CA
    Market cap: $5.62 billion
    Revenue: $21 billion
    Net income: $587 million

    Also known as Eastern Tobacco Company, Eastern Co SAE is the largest producer of cigars and cigarettes in Egypt. The company also produces pipe tobacco, cigarette filters, and molasses tobacco.

    Eastern Co SAE operates as two separate divisions that split their focus between domestic and overseas sales.

    The local division produces some of the best-selling cigar brands in Egypt, such as Corona, Legation, and Mondial.

    The international segment distributes popular cigar brands such as Golden West, Cleopatra, and Taba.

    Eastern Co SAE also generates revenue through completely unrelated industries, such as finance, agriculture, and real estate.

  12. Oliva Cigar Co. Miami Lakes, Florida

    Stock ticker: N/A
    Market cap: N/A
    Revenue: N/A
    Net income: N/A

    Oliva Cigar Co. is a family-owned business that manufactures cigars and other tobacco products in Nicaragua for international sale.

    The company’s main manufacturing facilities are located in Somoto, Jalapa, and Esteli, Nicaragua. Their flagship brand Oliva is produced solely in the Esteli-based factory, which manufactures over 50,000 cigars each day.

    Oliva Cigar Co also produces cigars for other companies under contract.

    The company produces Nica Libre Potencia for the internet retail company Meier and Dutch, as well as the Savinelli Liga Especial for Savinelli.

  13. Boutique Blends Cigars. Jacksonville, Florida

    Stock ticker: N/A
    Market cap: N/A
    Revenue: $582 million
    Net income: N/A

    Formerly known as the Habana Cuba Cigar Company, Boutique Blends Cigars is a producer of premium hand-rolled cigars.

    The company was founded in 1996 amidst the United States cigar boom as the sole American manufacturer of the popular Cuban “Oliveros” brand.

    In addition to products under the Oliveros name, other popular brands that Boutique Blends Cigars manufacturers include Swag, Aging Room, and King Havano.

  14. Tabacalera Fernandez. Esteli, Nicaragua

    Stock ticker: N/A
    Market cap: N/A
    Revenue: N/A
    Net income: N/A

    Better known to English-speaking customers as A.J. Fernandez Cigars, Tabacalera Fernandez is one of the largest cigar manufacturers in Nicaragua.

    The company sells its products in more than 32 countries around the world, although approximately 90% of its sales come from the United States.

    Some of their best-selling brands include San Lotano, Diesel, and Man O’War.

    Tabacelera Fernandez owns and operates the famous Fernandez factory, one of the largest cigar manufacturing facilities in Nicaragua. It boasts production capabilities exceeding nine million cigars per year.

  15. Rocky Patel Premium Cigars. Bonita Springs, Florida

    Stock ticker: N/A
    Market cap: N/A
    Revenue: $11.66 million
    Net income: N/A

    Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, formerly called Indian Tabac Cigars Co., is a family-owned cigar manufacturer that mainly operates in the United States.

    The company became well known in the early 2000s for the Indian Tabac Cameroon Legend Gorilla, an extremely large cigar that was later emulated by competitors.

    Rocky Patel Premium Cigars produces all of its products in Honduras and Nicaragua.

    In 2020, the company hosted one of the preliminaries for the Cigar Smoking World Championships at their Naples cigar and drinking lounge.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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