Altria reports steady income

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Richmond-based Altria Group reported a 1.7 percent increase in its third-quarter profit to $882 million.

“Altria reported solid adjusted earnings per share growth in the third quarter,” Michael E. Szymanczyk, Altria chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “The premium brands of Altria’s tobacco operating companies, Marlboro, Copenhagen, Skoal and Black & Mild, continue to display great strength in a challenging operating environment.”

The company sold fewer cigarettes during the third quarter, but the company’s cigar and financial services segments improved, the company cut $76 million in expenses and the integration of UST boosted profit. The quarter included $54 million for employee separation costs. In July, Philip Morris closed its Cabarrus County, N.C., plant.

The company’s cigarette segment revenues, excluding the new federal excise tax, dropped 11.4 percent when compared to last year. Cigarette volume was down for all of Altria’s major brands: including Marlboro, Parliament and Virginia Slims.

For its cigar business, revenues increased 17.9 percent when excluding the federal excise tax.

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