CAIRO - Egypt's top cigarette maker, Eastern Tobacco Company, will raise prices by 10 to 15 percent, or 1.5-3 Egyptian pounds ($0.0840-$0.2521), starting on Thursday, Chairman Mohammed Othman Haroun said.
Prices have soared in import-dependent Egypt ever since it floated its pound currency in late 2016 as part of IMF-backed reforms.
In a televised interview late on Wednesday, Haroun said the price hike is intended to cover a new tax imposed by the government to raise money for healthcare services.
Eastern supplies about 70 percent of Egypt's cigarette market, which Haroun put at about 83 billion cigarettes a year.
Annual headline inflation rose to 14.4 percent in June on the back of new subsidy cuts to fuel and electricity.
($1 = 17.8500 Egyptian pounds)
(Reporting by Eric Knecht and Ahmed Tolba; editing by Jason Neely) ((email@example.com; +20 2 2394 8102; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))