History

150 Years of Tradition and Development

Imperial Tobacco was founded in 1901 in Great Britain, however the history of the Ukrainian enterprise – Kyiv Tobacco Factory – began several decades earlier.

1861 – the son of a tobacco salesman, Salomon Kogen, opened a small company in Kyiv for the production of Turkish tobacco and cigars. 

1871 – the company became one of the 13 largest tobacco factories in Kyiv.

1887 – whilst continuing to expand, the factory became one of the largest suppliers of tobacco products in the southwest part of the Russian Empire.

1913 – the start of mouthpiece cigarette production, which was a significant innovation at that time.

1940 – smoking tobacco production increased and the volumes of mouthpiece cigarette production reached 15 million pieces a day.

1943 – production revival after Kyiv’s liberation from WW II German occupation, after which the factory quickly resumed its pre-war production volumes, although it lacked equipment, locksmiths and engineers.

1947 – the first "Prima" cigarettes in the Soviet Union rolled off the production line and became a legendary trademark for many years to come.

1965 – the production of filter-tipped cigarettes commenced. 

1992 – with the beginning of Ukraine’s independence, Kyiv Tobacco Factory was among the first privatized Ukrainian companies.

1993 – a joint venture with the German tobacco company, Reemtsma, was established; production was modernized, new technologies and methods were introduced, specialists were trained, international brands were launched and domestic trademarks were developed.

1996 – construction began at the factory’s new site on the outskirts of Kyiv to create a modern manufacturing facility, adapted to streamlined production.  

1998 – the new Kyiv factory was opened, in which 110 million Deutschemarks were invested.

1998 – Prima Lux was launched – the first domestic alternative to international cigarette brands.

2002 – the factory became part of the Imperial Tobacco Group, one of the largest tobacco companies in the world.