CSP Daily News 4/21/201 Altria q1 2011 - cigarettes down, smokeless down, cigars down ..

April 21, 2011 Meanwhile, as Mr. Symanczyk and Chief Executive Officer of Altria Group, Inc. pointed out, Marlboro gained share as the quarter progressed, but Marlboro's 2011 first-quarter retail share decreased 0.5 share points due primarily to the timing of new product launches. Marlboro's 2010 first-quarter retail share benefited from the January introduction of two Marlboro Special Blend products, while two new Marlboro Special Blend products, which began shipping at the end of February 2011, had a minimal impact on the brand's retail share in the first quarter of 2011.SQPhilip Morris USA's retail share for the three-month period decreased 1.2 share points.

Altria Group results outside of cigarettes:

Overall. In the first quarter of 2011, Altria's net revenues decreased 2.0% to $5.6 billion due primarily to lower net revenues from cigarettes and cigars, and revenues net of excise taxes were essentially flat.

Smokeless.The smokeless products segment's 2011 first-quarter financial, shipment volume and retail share comparisons were impacted primarily by new product launches and promotional product introductions. The smokeless products segment's 2010 first-quarter results benefited from the launch of new Copenhagen products, the national introduction of Marlboro Snus and a Skoal Slim Can pouch promotion. In the first quarter of 2011, the smokeless products segment's net revenues and revenues net of excise taxes decreased 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively, due primarily to lower shipment volume and costs for brand-building initiatives, partially offset by higher pricing.

Cigars. The cigars segment's 2011 first-quarter financial results were negatively impacted by events following the 2009 federal excise tax (FET) increase on tobacco products. Middleton saw increased competitive activity, including significantly higher levels of imported, low-priced machine-made large cigars. Middleton responded with promotional investments to defend its position in the marketplace. In the first quarter of 2011, the cigar segment's net revenues and revenues net of excise taxes decreased 13.3% (from $135 million to $117 million) and 24.1% (from $87 million to $66 million), respectively, due primarily to increased promotional investments.

REFERENCE: Marlboro's Momentum Altria addresses Marlboro Leadership Program, details quarterly earnings By Linda Abu-Shalback Zid & Steve Holtz, csp DAILY News 4/21/2011.



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