Altria volumes up across the board

| April 29, 2016

altriaPM USA’s domestic cigarette shipment volume during the three months to the end of March, at 29,539 million, was up by 1.2 percent on that of the first quarter of 2015, 29,198 million.

The company estimates that, when its volume is adjusted for an extra (leap year) shipping day, trade inventory movements and other factors, its domestic cigarettes shipment volume fell by about 0.5 percent. But it estimates, too, that total industry cigarette volume fell by about one percent.

Within PM USA’s total shipments, Marlboro volume was increased by 1.0 percent to 25,361 million, while the volume of the company’s other premium brands fell by 4.1 percent to 1,514 million. Sales of discount brands increased by 6.4 percent to 2,664 million.

PM USA’s cigarette market share during the three months to the end of March, at 51.4 percent, was up by 0.3 of a percentage point on that of the first quarter of 2015.

Marlboro’s share was unchanged at 44.0 percent, while the share of the company’s other premium brands fell by 0.1 of a percentage point to 2.7 percent. The share of PM USA’s discount brands rose by 0.4 of a percentage point to 4.7 per cent.

Altria’s first quarter results, reported yesterday, included also those of Middleton and USSTC. Middleton’s domestic cigar shipment volume during the three months to the end of March, at 327 million, was up by 8.3 percent on that of the first quarter of 2015, 302 million. Shipment volume of the company’s Black & Mild brand was increased by 6.4 per cent to 317 million, while that of its other brands increased from four million to 10 million.

Middleton’s retail market share fell by 0.5 of a percentage point to 26.4 percent, with Black & Mild’s share down by 0.7 of a percentage point to 25.9 percent and the share of the company’s other brands increased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 0.5 percent.

USSTC’s domestic market shipment volume of smokeless products during the three months to the end of March, at 206.1 million cans and packs, was up by 7.8 percent on that of the first quarter of 2015, 191.1 million.

Copenhagen’s shipment volume increased by 13.4 percent to 124.8 million, and Skoal’s volume was up by 0.8 percent to 64.5 million. The shipment volume of other brands fell by 1.2 per cent to 16.8 million.

USSTC estimates that, after adjusting for trade inventory movements and other factors, its domestic smokeless products shipment volume grew by about three percent during the first quarter. It estimates too that the US’ smokeless products category volume grew by about 2.5 percent during the past six months.

USSTC’s retail market share during the three months to the end of March, at 55.1 percent, was increased by 0.2 of a percentage point from that of the first quarter of 2015.

Copenhagen’s market share increased by 1.1 percentage points to 32.4 percent, while Skoal’s share fell by 0.6 of a percentage point to 19.2 percent. Other brands’ market share fell by 0.3 of a percentage point to 3.5 percent.

In announcing the results, Marty Barrington, Altria’s chairman, CEO and president, said that Altria was off to an excellent start in 2016, growing its adjusted diluted earnings per share by 14.3 percent despite what he called a tough 2015 comparison.

“Our first-quarter results illustrate the strength of our core tobacco businesses and our focus on execution,” he said.

“And Altria paid shareholders over $1.1 billion in dividends during the quarter.

“The smokeable products segment continued its outstanding performance with contributions across the brand portfolio.

“In smokeless products, USSTC continues to execute its strategies, including the successful national expansion of its innovative Copenhagen Mint.

“We also have made significant progress against the $300 million productivity initiative we announced on January 28th.  Among other actions, we completed the realignment of our organization in the quarter.”

Category: Breaking News

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