Altria delivers ‘outstanding returns’

| January 29, 2016

Philip Morris USA’s cigarette shipment volume during the 12 months to the end of December, at 126,018 million, was increased by 0.5 percent on that of the 12 months to the end of December 2014, 125,390 million.

Marlboro shipments were up by 0.1 percent to 108,113 million while shipments of other premium brands were down by 4.2 percent to 6,753 million.

Discount brand shipments were increased by 8.1 percent to 11,152 million.

PM USA’s share of the retail cigarette market during the year to the end of December, at 51.3 percent, was up by 0.4 of a percentage point. Marlboro’s share was up by 0.2 of a percentage point to 44.0 percent while that of the company’s other premium brands was down by 0.1 of a percentage point to 2.8 percent. The company’s discount-brands’ share was up by 0.3 of a percentage point to 4.5 percent.

In reporting its results yesterday, Altria said that PM USA’s reported domestic cigarettes shipment volume had decreased by 2.6 percent during the fourth quarter of

2015 as trade inventory movements had more than offset retail share gains. For the full-year, PM USA’s reported domestic cigarettes shipment volume had increased by 0.5 percent due to a moderation in the industry’s decline rate and retail share gains.

‘When adjusted for trade inventory movements and other factors, PM USA estimates that its domestic cigarettes shipment volume increased by approximately 0.5 percent in both the fourth quarter and the full year of 2015,’ Altria said.

‘PM USA estimates that total industry cigarette volumes were essentially unchanged in the fourth quarter and declined by approximately 0.5 percent for the full year.’

Middleton’s cigar shipments during the year to the end of December, at 1,325 million, were up by 4.2 percent on those of the year to the end of December 2014, 1,271 million.

Shipments of Black & Mild cigars were up by 3.9 percent to 1,295 million while shipments of other brands were increased by 20.0 percent to 30 million.

Middleton’s full-year, reported cigars shipment volume increase was said to have been driven primarily by Black & Mildin the tipped cigars segment.

The company’s share of the domestic retail cigar market was said to be down by 1.0 percentage point to 27.7 percent, with Black & White’s share down by 1.0 percentage point to 27.3 percent and the share of its other brands unchanged at 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, PM USA and USSTC’s combined smokeless product shipments (cans and packs) during the year to the end of December, at 813.5 million, were increased by 2.5 percent on those of 2014, 793.3 million.

Copenhagen shipments were increased by 5.8 percent to 474.7 million while Skoal shipments were down by 0.6 percent to 267.9 million.

Other-brand shipments were down by 5.6 percent to 70.9 million.

PM USA and USSTC’s combined share of the retail market in smokeless tobacco fell by 0.1 of a percentage point to 54.9 percent. Copenhagen’s share was increased by 0.9 of a percentage point to 31.6 percent while Skoal’s share was down by 0.6 of a percentage point to 19.7 percent. The share of the companies’ other brands was down by 0.4 of a percentage point to 3.6 percent.

In presenting Altria’s results, chairman, CEO and president Marty Barrington said that Altria had delivered in 2015 “yet another year of excellent business results and outstanding shareholder returns”.

“We grew full-year adjusted diluted EPS by 8.9 percent, in line with our long-term EPS growth objective. Altria paid nearly $4.2 billion in dividends to shareholders, consistent with our goal of paying out approximately 80 percent of adjusted diluted EPS. And Altria’s total return to shareholders of 23.1 percent far outpaced the S&P 500 and the S&P Food, Beverage and Tobacco Index, marking the third consecutive year that total shareholder return has exceeded 20 percent.

“Our core businesses generated impressive and consistent income growth during the year behind the strength of their premium brands. Marlborogrew retail share for the fourth consecutive year. And in smokeless products, our leading premium brand, Copenhagen,was the fastest growing brand in the category, supporting USSTC’s strategy of combined Copenhagenand Skoalretail share growth.

“In addition, we supported the agreement between AB InBev and SABMiller to create the first truly global beer company. When completed, we expect to capture a significant premium on our very large investment in SABMiller and continue our participation in the global beer profit pool on attractive terms.”

Category: Breaking News

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