Regions Central Virginia

Universal Corp. reports higher net income

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Richmond-based Universal Corp. reported net income of $149 million for its recently completed fiscal year, an increase of 12 percent from $132.8 million for the previous fiscal year.

Diluted earnings per share for the year were $5.25, up from $4.66 the previous year.

Revenues of $2.5 billion for fiscal year 2014 were up 3.3 percent compared with the previous year, as slightly lower volumes were offset by higher prices.

The current year's results included a gain in the first fiscal quarter of $81.6 million before tax ($53.1 million after tax, or $1.87 per diluted share), from the favorable outcome of litigation in Brazil related to previous years' excise tax credits.

The annual results also included pretax restructuring costs of $6.7 million (15 cents per share) and $4.1 million (6 cents per share) for fiscal years 2014 and 2013, respectively.

Segment operating income, which excludes those items, was $175.2 million for fiscal year 2014, a decrease of $57.6 million from the prior year. That reduction was primarily attributable to weaker margins in Brazil from higher green leaf costs, increased currency remeasurement and exchange costs, and the higher sales of carryover and uncommitted inventories in fiscal year 2013.

The fourth quarter results included restructuring costs of $2 million (4 cents per share) and $400,000 (1 cent per share) for fiscal years 2014 and 2013, respectively.


Annual revenue: $2.5 billion for fiscal year 2014, up 3.3 percent.

Annual net income: $149 million ($5.25 per diluted share), up from $132.8 million ($4.66 per diluted share).

Fourth-quarter net income: $26.7 million (94 cents per diluted share), compared with the prior year's fourth fiscal quarter of $26.1 million, (92 cents per diluted share).


"We performed well in the face of a challenging environment this year, and our underlying business and customer relationships remain strong,” George C. Freeman III, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

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