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Altria reports 2020 2nd Quarter and First-Half Results

28 Jul 2020. Altria Group, Inc. announced its 2020 second-quarter and first-half business results and its plans to expand the availability of its iQOS heated-tobacco devices in more markets.

The company's revenue for the quarter fell 3.8 per cent to USD 6.37 billion from USD 6.62 billion last year. “Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., our employees continue to execute against our 10-year Vision with strong focus and commitment. Over the first-half of 2020, we believe Altria showed resilience in volatile market conditions, growing adjusted diluted earnings per share by 8.5 per cent, driven by the outstanding financial performance of our core tobacco businesses. We’ve also hit key milestones and made steady progress behind our noncombustible product portfolio.”

“With a better understanding of COVID-19 impacts on adult tobacco consumer purchasing behavior and an additional quarter of ABI earnings contributions, we’re reestablishing full-year 2020 adjusted diluted EPS guidance,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s Chief Executive Officer.

Altria expects its 2020 full-year adjusted diluted EPS to be in a range of USD 4.21 to 4.38, representing a growth rate of 0 to 4 per cent from an adjusted diluted EPS base of USD 4.21 in 2019.

“We’re pleased to announce that yesterday, our Board declared a quarterly dividend of USD 0.86 per share, representing a new annualized dividend rate of USD 3.44 per share and an increase of 2.4 per cent from the previous annualized rate of USD 3.36 per share. This dividend increase marks the 55th dividend increase in the past 51 years,” said Sal Mancuso, Altria’s Chief Financial Officer.

Over the next 18 months, PM USA plans to expand IQOS to four additional markets, partner with trade retailers to make IQOS devices more broadly available and expand HeatSticks distribution in surrounding geographies of the seven lead markets, the report said.

To date, Altria recorded net pre-tax charges of USD 50 million, directly related to costs for disruptions caused by, or efforts to mitigate the impact of, the COVID-19 pandemic. These pre-tax charges included premium pay, personal protective equipment and health screenings, partially offset by certain employment tax credits.

Altria considered the impact of COVID-19 on the business of JUUL, including its sales, distribution, operations, supply chain and liquidity, in conducting its periodic impairment assessment. Altria’s assessment did not result in impairment at June 30, 2020. Altria will continue to monitor its investment in JUUL and the impact of COVID-19 on JUUL’s business.