Profits rise at Universal Corp.

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Richmond-based Universal Corp, reported that net income for the first quarter of its 2013 fiscal year rose 46 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Universal, a leading leaf tobacco supplier that operates in more than 30 countries, said its net income for the three months ending June 30 were 23.1 million, or 81 cents per diluted share.

During the same three months last year, net income was $15.9 million, or 52 cents per diluted share.

Last year’s results reflected the net effect of unusual items, including restructuring costs of $6.9 million before taxes (19 cents per diluted share) and a $9.6 million pretax gain (27 per cents diluted share) on insurance settlement proceeds to replace assets lost in a fire at a plant in Europe.

Revenues for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 of about $461 million were down $18 million, or 4 percent. The decrease was primarily attributable to a modest reduction in overall volumes, as well as lower average prices on carryover shipments of African tobaccos.

“I am pleased with our results for the first fiscal quarter as they signal a good start to the year ahead and a movement away from recent oversupplied conditions,”  George C. Freeman,III, the chairman, president, and CEO of Universal, said in a statement.

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