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Net income up at Universal

| May 22, 2013

Universal Corporation has announced net income for the fiscal year ended March 31, at $132.8 million, or $4.66 per diluted share, compared with the previous year’s net income of $92.1 million, or $3.25 per diluted share.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013, net income was $26.1 million, or $0.92 per diluted share, compared with the previous year’s fourth quarter net income of $25.8 million or $0.91 per diluted share.

“I am proud of the successful results that we achieved in fiscal year 2013,” said chairman, president, and CEO, George C. Freeman, III.

“Despite smaller crops, rising leaf production costs, and margin pressures in most regions, we delivered better performance than we had anticipated at the beginning of the fiscal year.

“Some of this success was attributable to the sale of previously uncommitted inventories and carryover shipments of the prior year’s large African and South American crops. In addition, we benefited from lower selling, general, and administrative costs. Certain of these costs reductions were unpredictable – such as currency re-measurement and exchange gains – and may not be recurring, while others were a result of our targeted cost reduction and efficiency improvement efforts.

“In fiscal year 2013, we also generated over $230 million in cash flow from our operations and returned nearly $70 million to our shareholders through a combination of dividends and share repurchases.

“In addition to our financial achievements, our strong local management teams around the globe continued to advance our goal of providing compliant leaf, produced in a sustainable and competitive manner, to our customers.

“As we move into fiscal year 2014, we are seeing crop sizes increase in many of the key sourcing areas for flue-cured and Burley tobacco in response to strong global leaf demand. Sales activity has also been robust, especially for quality flavor flue-cured styles of tobacco.

“Burley tobacco remains in high demand, and current year crop levels are not expected to meet global requirements.

“At the same time, our uncommitted inventories are near historic lows, limiting our ability to glean additional volumes from this source. In addition to the low uncommitted inventories, we will not have the benefit of carryover crop shipments which helped our results in the first and second quarters of fiscal year 2013. While we look forward to another productive year, total volumes shipped may be lower in fiscal year 2014.”

Category: Breaking News

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