Altria reports higher revenue, net income

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Altria Group Inc. reported a 28 percent increase in net income in the third quarter based on lower costs and higher pricing on its tobacco products.

Altria said it earned $1.1 billion in the third quarter compared to $882 million in the same period last year. The boost came mostly from higher operating income in the company’s ciagarette and smokeless tobacco products as well as higher earnings from its equity investment in SABMiller PLC and tax benefits of $33 million.

Altria reported a 3.3 percent increase in revenue to $4.5 billion when excluding excise taxes, which the company attributed primarily to higher pricing. Revenue was offset by lower shipment volume and lower revenue from Altria’s financial services division.

In the third quarter, cigarette revenues increased 4 percent to $3.9 billion when excluding excise taxes.  Cigarette shipments were down 2.4 percent in the third quarter to 36.6 billion, but its Marlboro brand gained 0.7 points of U.S. market share to make up 42.6 percent of the U.S. market.

Altria’s smokeless tobacco segment performed well on higher volume. Revenues excluding excise taxes increased 11.3 percent in the third quarter to $363 million and domestic shipment volume increased 16.4 percent to 184 cans and packs.

Altria’s financial services division was $27 million, a decrease of $30 million from the same period a year before. This was primarily due to lower asset sales.

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