Philip Morris USA’s cigarette shipment volume during the 12 months to the end of December, at 125,390 million, was down by 3.0 percent on that of the 12 months to the end of December 2013, 129,312 million.
Marlboro shipments were down by 3.0 percent to 108,023 million while shipments of other premium brands were down by 8.7 percent to 7,047 million.
Discount brand shipments were increased by 1.5 percent to 10,320 million.
PM USA’s share of the retail cigarette market during the year to the end of December, at 50.9 percent, was up by 0.2 of a percentage point.
Marlboro’s share was up by 0.1 of a percentage point to 43.8 percent while that of the company’s other premium brands was down by 0.2 of a percentage point to 2.9 percent.
The company’s discount-brands share was up by 0.3 of a percentage point to 4.2 percent.
In reporting its results on Friday, Altria said that PM USA’s 2014 fourth-quarter and full-year reported domestic cigarettes shipment volumes had declined by 3.0 percent and 1.7 percent respectively, primarily due to an industry-wide decline, partially offset by retail share gains. ‘When adjusted for trade inventory changes and other factors, PM USA estimates that its fourth-quarter and full-year domestic cigarettes shipment volume decreased approximately two percent and three percent, respectively, and that total industry cigarette volumes declined approximately 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter and 3.5 percent for the full year of 2014,’ it said.
Middleton’s cigar shipments during the year to the end of December, at 1,271 million, were up by 6.1 percent on those of the year to the end of December 2013, 1,198 million.
Shipments of Black & Mild were up by 5.9 percent to 1,245 million while shipments of other brands were increased by 19.0 percent to 25 million.
The increase in cigar shipments during the full year and the fourth quarter (3.9 percent) was said to have been driven primarily by Black & Mild’s strong performance in the tipped cigars segment, including with Black & Mild Jazz.
The company’s share of the domestic retail cigar market was down by 0.1 of a percentage point to 29.0 percent, with Black & White’s share down by 0.3 of a percentage point to 28.6 percent but with the share of its other brands increased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 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 793.3 million, were increased by 0.7 percent on those of 2013, 787.5 million.
Copenhagen shipments were increased by 5.3 percent to 448.6 million while Skoal shipments were down by 5.0 percent to 269.6 million.
Other-brand shipments were down by 3.2 percent to 75.1 million.
PM USA and USSTC’s combined share of the retail market in smokeless tobacco increased by 0.2 of a percentage point to 55.2 percent.
Copenhagen’s share was increased by 1.5 percentage points to 30.8 percent while Skoal’s share was down by 1.0 percentage point to 20.4 percent.
The share of the companies’ other brands was down by 0.3 of a percentage point to 4.0 percent.
In presenting Altria’s results, chairman and CEO Marty Barrington said that Altria had delivered another year of strong business results and excellent returns for shareholders.
“We grew adjusted diluted EPS [earnings per share] by almost 16 percent in the fourth quarter and by 8.0 percent for the full year, in line with our long-term EPS goal,” he said. “We increased the dividend for the 48th time in 45 years. Altria also produced total shareholder return of 34.5 percent, well above returns for the S&P 500 and the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Index.
“Our business results were anchored by a very strong performance in the smokeable products segment, complemented by contributions from our diverse business model. “We’re also pleased with the steady progress Nu Mark is making as it builds e-vapor category leadership; Nu Mark successfully executed its national launch of MarkTen, which is now available in over 130,000 retail stores.”