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Universal reports on challenging year

| May 21, 2014

Universal Corporation yesterday reported net income for the fiscal year ended March 31, at $149.0 million or $5.25 per diluted share, increased on that of the previous year’s $132.8 million or $4.66 per diluted share.

Segment operating income, which excludes certain one-off items, was $175.2 million, down by $57.6 million or 24.7 percent.

The reduction in segment operating income was primarily attributed to weaker margins in Brazil from higher green-leaf costs, increased currency “remeasurement” and exchange costs, and higher sales of carryover and uncommitted inventories in fiscal year 2013.

Revenues of $2.5 billion for fiscal year 2014 were said to have been increased by 3.3 percent compared with those of the previous year, as slightly lower volumes were offset by higher prices.

“We performed well in the face of a challenging environment this year, and our underlying business and customer relationships remain strong,” said George C. Freeman III, chairman, president and CEO, in announcing the results.

“Given the larger crops this year, shipping volumes in the second half of fiscal year 2014 exceeded those in the comparable period last year. These increased volumes partially offset lower levels of carryover volumes in the first half of the year, weaker margins in Brazil, and negative foreign currency ‘remeasurement’ and exchange loss comparisons this year …”

Meanwhile, Universal’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.51 per share on the common shares of the company, payable on Aug. 11 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 14.

In addition, the board declared a quarterly dividend of $16.875 per share on the company’s Series B 6.75% Convertible Perpetual Preferred Stock, payable on June 16 to shareholders of record as of 5 p.m. Eastern Time on June 1.

The board set the date of the annual meeting of shareholders as Aug. 5, 2014.

Category: Breaking News

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