Travel

February 27, 2013

Cuba says cigar sales $416 million last year

Cuba says cigar sales rose last year despite the ongoing economic crisis in some of its most important European markets.

Cuba says cigar sales rose last year despite the ongoing economic crisis in some of its most important European markets.

Representatives of state-run tobacco company Habanos SA report that sales totaled $416 million in 2012. That's up from $401 million the previous year.

The officials spoke at a smoky press conference held to kick off Cuba's annual Cigar Festival today in Havana.

Some 1,500 participants from 70 countries are attending. The festival includes a sommelier contest, an exhibition of tobacco-infused cooking and an auction of humidors that can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece.

German tennis great Boris Becker, Cuban crooner Omara Portuondo and a trio of former NBA players including Seattle Supersonics star Gary Payton are among the announced celebrity guests.

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