Altria Group, Inc. has reported its 2022 first-quarter business results and reaffirms its guidance for 2022 full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS).
“We are off to a strong start to the year and believe our businesses are on track to deliver against their full-year plans. Our tobacco businesses performed well in a challenging macroeconomic environment and we continued to make progress toward our Vision to responsibly lead the transition of adult smokers to a smoke-free future,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s Chief Executive Officer.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to contribute to volatility in the domestic and global economies, including disruptions in the supply and distribution chain, and changes in consumer behaviour. The economic and business repercussions of COVID-19 have been compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While our operating companies focus on the manufacture and sale of tobacco products in the United States and have little direct exposure to the impacted regions, we have experienced negative effects on the cost and availability of certain raw materials and component parts for our operating companies’ products,” Altria said in a statement.
Overall, net revenues decreased 2.4 per cent to USD 5.9 billion, primarily driven by the sale of its wine business in October 2021. Excluding the wine segment, net revenues were essentially unchanged. Revenues net of excise taxes decreased 1.3 per cent to USD 4.8 billion.
The smokeable products segment reported domestic cigarette shipment volume decreased 6.3 per cent to 22.49 billion sticks, primarily driven by the industry’s decline rate and retail share losses, partially offset by trade inventory movements.
In the first quarter of 2022, Altria recorded a non-cash pre-tax unrealized loss of USD 100 million as a result of a decrease in the estimated fair value of its investment in JUUL. A corresponding adjustment was made to the JUUL tax valuation allowance. As of 31 March 2022, the estimated fair value of its investment in JUUL was USD 1.6 billion.
“We reaffirm our guidance to deliver 2022 full-year adjusted diluted EPS in a range of USD 4.79 to 4.93. This range represents an adjusted diluted EPS growth rate of 4 to 7 per cent from a USD 4.61 base in 2021. We continue to expect that adjusted diluted EPS growth will be weighted toward the second half of the year,” Altria said.