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UNITED STATES

Altria third-quarter revenues up

25 Oct 2018. Altria's revenues net of excise taxes for the third quarter were up 3.3 per cent, despite a 3.2 per cent drop in Marlboro shipments, the Philip Morris USA owner said in its third-quarter and nine-month results.

At USD 5.292 billion (EUR 4.65 billion), Altria's revenues net of excise taxes were up 3.3 per cent for the quarter. For the nine-month period ended 30 September, revenues net of excise taxes were reported as steady, up 0.4 per cent, at USD 14.841 billion.

Shipments of the flagship Marlboro brand for the third quarter, at 25.611 billion, were down 3.2 per cent. Shipments of 'other premium' brands decreased by 6 per cent and 'discount' brand shipments were down 6.8 per cent. Total cigarette shipments for the quarter, at 29.698 billion, were down 3.7 per cent on the 30.828 billion sticks shipped in third quarter 2017. For the nine-month period, the 72.793 billion Marlboro sticks shipped represented a decline of 5.8 per cent on the 77.307 billion shipped in the same period in 2017. Total cigarette shipments, at 84.486 billion, were down 6.3 per cent for the nine-month period.

The total US cigarette industry volume contracted by an estimated 4.5 per cent over the nine-month period and Altria said its volume declines in the smokeable products segment were driven by this industry contraction. At 43.1 per cent, Altria said Marlboro's market share had declined slightly, by 0.1 per cent, in the quarter.

Revenues net of excise taxes in the smokeless products segment, at USD 552 million (EUR 485 million), were up 7.2 per cent on third-quarter 2017 results. At USD 1.59 billion, revenues net of excise taxes in the nine-month period were up 7.4 per cent.

Smokeless shipments were up 0.4 per cent in the third quarter and down 0.7 per cent for the nine-month period. 135.7 million cans and packs of the company's Copenhagen brand were shipped in the quarter, up 1.2 per cent, and Copenhagen shipments for the nine-month period were up 0.5 per cent, at 398.2 million units. Skoal unit shipments were down 3.1 per cent for the quarter and the 174.5 million cans of the smokeless product shipped in the nine-month period represented a 4.6 per cent decline on the 183 million shipped in the comparable period in 2017.

At 50.7 per cent, Altria said the combined market share for Copenhagen and Skoal was unchanged in the third quarter and, at 50.6 per cent, was down 0.2 share points in the nine-month period.

The company gave the following regulatory updates for its Next Generation Products. Following its announcement that it will remove certain e-vapour products from stores pending a market order from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Altria said around 80 per cent of third-quarter Nu Mark volume will remain on the market. The sale of e-vapour products MarkTen Elite, Apex by MarkTen pod-based products, and cig-a-like flavour variants other than tobacco, menthol and mint, have been discontinued.

The FDA had accepted and filed for review Altria company USSTC's modified risk tobacco product application for Copenhagen Snuff, which was submitted in the first quarter, Altria said.

Of the company's performance, Howard Willard, chairman and chief executive officer, commented, “Altria delivered excellent third-quarter adjusted diluted earnings per share growth of 20 per cent and continued to return large amounts of cash to our shareholders. Our tobacco businesses are successfully executing against their strategies, while making strategic investments to drive long-term success.”