The sales and distribution agreement between Philip Morris Limited (PML) and Imperial Tobacco Limited (ITL) for PML cigarette brands, including Marlboro, is to end on 18 October - earlier than previously stated.

The transition process will see PML assume responsibility for all activities in the independent and symbol trade channels for all of its brands from 1 September 2015, with the exception of any retailers that currently buy PML cigarette products directly from ITL.

PML products will continue to be available via ITL’s supply chain up to and including 18 October, after which orders will be met and serviced by PML.

These dates are prior to the original 31 December 2015 termination date to avoid the challenges associated with transitioning over the year-end holiday period.

Melvin Ruigrok, ITL general manager UK & Ireland said: “I am pleased we have agreed an earlier transition, as this will ensure our valued trade partners encounter minimal disruption from this process.

“ITL and PML will be working closely together to ensure a smooth handover process.”

 Martin Inkster, PML managing director UK & Ireland added: “PML would like to thank Imperial Tobacco for its support and cooperation over the past 10+ years and its assistance during this transition period.”