March 2024

Habanos S.A. wrapped up its annual Festival del Habano in Havana, the premier event in the Cuban cigar realm, with a grand gala showcasing an auction of exquisite humidors, each dedicated to a different Cuban cigar brand. The auction, featuring eight lots in total, raked in a staggering €17.8 million ($19.3 million) in combined sales, setting a new pinnacle for the Cuban cigar monopoly.

Last year’s auction set a then-record of €11.22 million, but it’s worth noting that it comprised only six humidors. This year, Habanos S.A. upped the ante by presenting seven humidors for auction, including the same six brands as in 2023, along with Trinidad, marking its 55th anniversary. A delightful surprise came in the form of a Cohiba humidor, kicking off the auction. Unlike the bespoke items crafted solely for this event, the surprise Cohiba humidor is part of a limited-edition commercial release. Remarkably, the average lot fetched €2.25 million ($2.4 million), a significant increase from €1.87 million the previous year.

Proceeds from the auction are channelled into the Cuban Public Health System.
While Trinidad celebrated a milestone year, Cohiba, the flagship brand, still reigned supreme in commanding top dollar. The standout of this year’s auction was the Cohiba humidor, featuring a 360-degree rotation mechanism, which sold for €4.5 million, likely clinching the title of the most expensive humidor ever sold. Last year, Habanos S.A.’s Cohiba humidor fetched €4.2 million, then considered the record.

Adding a personal touch, Miguel Díaz-Canel, Cuba’s president, will autograph the humidor. Díaz-Canel graced the festival with his presence on Wednesday, attending the gala dinner. This marks the first time Habanos S.A. has announced such an honour for a humidor.

The auction encapsulates the weeklong festivities enjoyed by the cigar giant. Similar to the auction’s record-breaking feat, Habanos S.A. announced a revenue of $721 million last year, surpassing the previous record by over $150 million.

Both the annual revenue of Habanos S.A. and the auction results have seen a surge post-pandemic compared to pre-pandemic levels, though the growth rates differ.

In 2020, the entire auction amassed €4.27 million in sales, then a record, but now eclipsed by the Cohiba humidor alone. These auction results have soared over 300 percent from 2020 to 2024 and 58 percent from the previous year.

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