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Amendment would guarantee margin for tobacco sales concession winners

An amendment submitted to Parliament by MPs of governing Fidesz would guarantee concession winners in a new state monopoly on tobacco a minimum 10% sales margin. The minimum margin will “ensure the efficient operation of the retail tobacco product sales system,” according to the bill's authors. Retailers' sales margin on tobacco currently varies between 3-4pc according to press reports. The bill was submitted days after the results of a tender for concession licenses showed a dearth of interest in applying to sell tobacco in Hungary's smallest communities. The fully state-owned company Nemzeti Dohánykereskedelmi Nonprofit, responsible for the tenders and overseeing the future operation of tobacco retail trade said they will call a second tender on these licenses soon.
    Decisions were taken to award 5,415 concession licenses, but no applications were submitted for 1,417 licenses for tobacco sales in communities with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants. More than 15,600 applications for licences to sell tobacco were received by the tender deadline on February 22. Legislation approved last September establishes a state monopoly on the retail sale of tobacco products from July 1, 2013.