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Press release from PR Newswire

Universal Corporation Reports Improved First Quarter Results

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Universal Corporation Reports Improved First Quarter Results14:15 EDT Tuesday, August 07, 2012RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --HIGHLIGHTSDiluted earnings per share increased $0.29, to $0.81. Net income up $7.2 million, to $23.1 million. Operating income improved by 21%, to $42.8 million. Revenues down 4%, to $461 million.  George C. Freeman, III, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV), announced that net income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, which ended on June 30, 2012, was $23.1 million, or $0.81 per diluted share.  Those results increased 46% compared to the same period last year, when net income was $15.9 million, or $0.52 per diluted share. Last year's results reflected the net effect of unusual items, including restructuring costs of $6.9 million before taxes ($0.19 per diluted share) and a $9.6 million pretax gain ($0.27 per diluted share) on insurance settlement proceeds to replace assets lost in a fire at a plant in Europe.  Revenues for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 of about $461 million were down $18 million, or 4%. The decrease was primarily attributable to a modest reduction in overall volumes, as well as lower average prices on carryover shipments of African tobaccos. Mr. Freeman stated, "I am pleased with our results for the first fiscal quarter as they signal a good start to the year ahead and a movement away from recent oversupplied conditions.  Some of the benefits we have seen in this period are related to variances in shipment timing, particularly carryover shipments from last year's large African crops.  We have managed our uncommitted inventory levels well throughout the past year, and we now carry those stocks at levels which are near the bottom of our historical norms.  As we have previously indicated, uncommitted inventories in the United States were substantially depleted during fiscal year 2012."As we move into fiscal year 2013, we believe that crop sizes have declined sufficiently to stabilize the markets.  Crop sizes are coming down in most of the key sourcing areas for flue-cured and burley tobacco, including Brazil, Tanzania, and Malawi.  In fact, in reaction to last year's very low burley prices, and as a result of poor weather conditions in some origins, burley crops grown for sale in fiscal year 2013, particularly in Malawi, are reduced to levels which are not likely to meet demand in the current year.  While the smaller crop sizes are reflective of a healthier market balance, they also limit the volumes we are expecting to handle during the year.  In addition, as green prices are moving upwards on a local currency basis in some origins, we are also seeing the counterbalancing effects on our earnings of the stronger U.S. dollar in recent months. "FLUE-CURED AND BURLEY LEAF TOBACCO OPERATIONS:Operating income for the Company's flue-cured and burley tobacco operations, which includes the North America and Other Regions segments, increased by about 35%, to $35.8 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, while revenues for those operations declined by about 5%, to $398 million, compared to the same quarter last year. In the Other Regions segment, operating income of $34.8 million was up $13.9 million with improved margins in nearly all regions. The segment's first quarter results were significantly influenced by higher volumes in Africa, mostly as a result of carryover shipments from last year's large crops in some origins, as well as benefits from currency remeasurement and exchange gains there. In South America, earnings were constrained by reduced volumes from this year's smaller crops, although the effect was mitigated by lower overhead costs in the period.  Results for the European operations reflected fewer shipments and the translation effects of weaker local currencies against the U.S. dollar in that region.  In Asia, results improved on some earlier shipment timing and better margins. Selling, general, and administrative costs for the first quarter were down about 23% for the segment compared with the prior year, due to lower provisions on receivables from suppliers, lower compensation expenses, and net currency remeasurement and exchange gains. Revenues for the Other Regions segment fell by about 6% as the increase in African volumes was more than offset by the effect of changes in the supply chain in Europe and smaller crops in South America.Operating income for the North America segment decreased by $4.6 million compared to last year's first quarter.  The prior year's quarter included carryover old crop sales that were not repeated this year as uncommitted stocks have been depleted. The decline was also influenced by shipment delays from transportation difficulties in Central America and factory overhead allocations. Revenues for the segment increased by about 3% to $60.5 million as lower trading volumes were more than offset by a favorable product mix.OTHER TOBACCO OPERATIONS:The Other Tobacco Operations segment operating income for the first fiscal quarter of $8.4 million was $5.6 million higher than the same period last year, on improved performance in both the dark tobacco business and the oriental joint venture.  The dark tobacco earnings increase was driven mainly by recovery in the Indonesian operations after weather-related crop shortages there negatively impacted last year's results. The oriental joint venture benefited from higher volumes on earlier shipments completed in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 and lower operating expenses from the stronger U.S. dollar.  Revenues for this segment increased by about 2% to $63.4 million as higher volumes related to timing of shipments of oriental tobaccos through the United States were partly offset by reduced volumes in dark tobacco.  Selling, general, and administrative costs for the segment were slightly higher compared with the prior year, on larger currency exchange losses in the dark tobacco operations.OTHER ITEMS:Cost of sales decreased by about 4% to $369.4 million in the quarter, which was comparable to the reduction in overall revenues. Selling, general, and administrative costs declined by $12.4 million compared with the same period last year, mainly due to reductions in compensation expenses and provisions on receivables from suppliers and benefits from currency remeasurement and exchange gains. Interest expense was up $0.6 million reflecting higher overall effective interest rates on lower average debt balances, and the accrual of interest expense for the European Commission fine obligation recorded in September 2011 that is still under appeal. The effective income tax rate for the first fiscal quarter of 2013 was 33.9% compared to 35.5% last year.  While both rates approximate U.S. statutory rates, the fiscal 2013 rate was slightly lower due to the effect of changes in exchange rates on deferred income tax assets and liabilities of foreign subsidiaries. During the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, an insurance settlement was received for replacement cost recovery on the factory and equipment destroyed in a fire at the Company's sheet tobacco operations in Europe in 2010.  The settlement generated a gain of $9.6 million, which was reported as Other Income in the Company's consolidated income statement.  In addition, the Company recorded restructuring costs, primarily in North America and Europe, of $6.9 million before taxes in the prior year quarter.Additional informationAmounts included in the previous discussion are attributable to Universal Corporation and exclude earnings related to non-controlling interests in subsidiaries.This information includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  The Company cautions readers that any statements contained herein regarding earnings and expectations for its performance are forward-looking statements based upon management's current knowledge and assumptions about future events, including anticipated levels of demand for and supply of its products and services; costs incurred in providing these products and services; timing of shipments to customers; changes in market structure; government regulation; product taxation; industry consolidation and evolution; and general economic, political, market, and weather conditions. Actual results, therefore, could vary from those expected.  A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors can be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, and in other documents the Company files with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  This information should be read in conjunction with the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2012.At 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on August 7, 2012, the Company will host a conference call to discuss these results.  Those wishing to listen to the call may do so by visiting at that time.  A replay of the webcast will be available at that site through November 6, 2012.  A taped replay of the call will be available through August 21, 2012, by dialing (855) 859-2056.  The confirmation number to access the replay is 17216484.Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Universal Corporation is the leading global leaf tobacco supplier and conducts business in more than 30 countries.  Its revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, were $2.4 billion. For more information on Universal Corporation, visit its website at UNIVERSAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (In thousands of dollars, except per share data)Three Months EndedJune 30,20122011(Unaudited)Sales and other operating revenues$                  461,391$                  479,465Costs and expenses    Cost of goods sold369,361385,107    Selling, general and administrative expenses49,20361,578    Other income?(9,592)    Restructuring costs?6,859Operating income42,82735,513    Equity in pretax earnings (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates1,369(3,489)    Interest income157357    Interest expense6,1705,533Income before income taxes and other items38,18326,848    Income taxes12,9509,526Net income25,23317,322Less:  net income attributable to noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries(2,108)(1,434)Net income attributable to Universal Corporation23,12515,888Dividends on Universal Corporation convertible perpetual preferred stock(3,712)(3,712)Earnings available to Universal Corporation common shareholders$                    19,413$                    12,176Earnings per share attributable to Universal Corporation common shareholders:    Basic$                        0.83$                        0.52    Diluted$                        0.81$                        0.52See accompanying notes.  UNIVERSAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS(In thousands of dollars)June 30,2012June 30,2011March 31,2012(Unaudited)(Unaudited)ASSETSCurrent assets    Cash and cash equivalents$        207,393$          93,795$        261,699    Accounts receivable, net292,633322,690390,790    Advances to suppliers, net78,260130,783135,317    Accounts receivable - unconsolidated affiliates59,85847,1117,370    Inventories - at lower of cost or market:        Tobacco962,347987,379682,095        Other61,16260,87153,197    Prepaid income taxes17,92120,49320,819    Deferred income taxes51,96754,47951,025    Other current assets65,61077,52788,317        Total current assets1,797,1511,795,1281,690,629Property, plant and equipment    Land17,05914,18617,087    Buildings228,191241,771228,982    Machinery and equipment539,310537,693537,031784,560793,650783,100        Less accumulated depreciation(486,925)(483,481)(479,908)297,635310,169303,192Other assets    Goodwill and other intangibles99,21199,46199,266    Investments in unconsolidated affiliates89,189113,74593,312    Deferred income taxes21,21912,95723,634    Other noncurrent assets50,09766,16556,886259,716292,328273,098        Total assets$     2,354,502$     2,397,625$     2,266,919See accompanying notes.   UNIVERSAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS(In thousands of dollars)June 30,2012June 30,2011March 31,2012(Unaudited)(Unaudited)LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITYCurrent liabilities    Notes payable and overdrafts$      149,855$       263,302$       128,016    Accounts payable and accrued expenses207,526217,225187,790    Accounts payable - unconsolidated affiliates54322295    Customer advances and deposits69,37165,58816,832    Accrued compensation29,84322,53230,659    Income taxes payable17,45910,94212,866    Current portion of long-term obligations17,50095,00016,250           Total current liabilities491,608674,911392,708Long-term obligations390,000321,612392,500Pensions and other postretirement benefits140,820105,377140,529Other long-term liabilities85,45444,72990,609Deferred income taxes40,20045,46844,583           Total liabilities1,148,0821,192,0971,060,929Shareholders' equity  Universal Corporation:    Preferred stock:       Series A Junior Participating Preferred Stock, no par value,         500,000 shares authorized, none issued or outstanding???       Series B 6.75% Convertible Perpetual Preferred Stock, no par value,         220,000 shares authorized, 219,999 shares issued         and outstanding (219,999 at June 30, 2011, and March 31, 2012) 213,023213,023213,023    Common stock, no par value, 100,000,000 shares         authorized, 23,356,713 shares issued and outstanding       (23,226,863 at June 30, 2011, and 23,257,175 at March 31, 2012)196,410192,590196,135    Retained earnings862,480823,793854,654    Accumulated other comprehensive loss(90,229)(39,107)(80,361)           Total Universal Corporation shareholders' equity1,181,6841,190,2991,183,451  Noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries24,73615,22922,539           Total shareholders' equity1,206,4201,205,5281,205,990           Total liabilities and shareholders' equity$    2,354,502$    2,397,625$    2,266,919See accompanying notes.    UNIVERSAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIESCONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS(In thousands of dollars)Three Months EndedJune 30,20122011(Unaudited)CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES:   Net income$      25,233$      17,322   Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash used by operating activities:      Depreciation10,80311,027      Amortization434400      Provisions for losses on advances and guaranteed loans to suppliers1,4594,254      Foreign currency remeasurement loss (gain), net(8,790)178      Gain on fire loss insurance settlement?(9,592)      Restructuring costs?6,859      Other, net(3,495)10,371      Changes in operating assets and liabilities, net(83,580)(186,063)        Net cash used by operating activities(57,936)(145,244)CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES:    Purchase of property, plant and equipment(8,726)(8,827)    Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment1,9655,817    Proceeds from fire loss insurance settlement?9,933        Net cash provided (used) by investing activities(6,761)6,923CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES:     Issuance (repayment) of short-term debt, net26,958109,662    Repayment of long-term obligations(1,250)?    Issuance of common stock?134    Repurchase of common stock?(4,004)    Dividends paid on convertible perpetual preferred stock(3,712)(3,712)    Dividends paid on common stock(11,396)(11,195)        Net cash provided by financing activities10,60090,885Effect of exchange rate changes on cash(209)224Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents(54,306)(47,212)Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year261,699141,007Cash and cash equivalents at end of period$    207,393$      93,795See accompanying notes.   NOTE 1. BASIS OF PRESENTATION Universal Corporation, with its subsidiaries ("Universal" or the "Company"), is the leading global leaf tobacco supplier. Because of the seasonal nature of the Company's business, the results of operations for any fiscal quarter will not necessarily be indicative of results to be expected for other quarters or a full fiscal year. All adjustments necessary to state fairly the results for the period have been included and were of a normal recurring nature. Certain amounts in prior year statements have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation. These financial statements should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and notes thereto included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012. NOTE 2. EARNINGS PER SHAREThe following table sets forth the computation of earnings per share for the periods presented in the consolidated statements of income.Three Months EndedJune 30,(in thousands, except per share data)20122011Basic Earnings Per ShareNumerator for basic earnings per share  Net income attributable to Universal Corporation$ 23,125$ 15,888  Less: Dividends on convertible perpetual preferred stock(3,712)(3,712)  Earnings available to Universal Corporation common shareholders   for calculation of basic earnings per share19,41312,176Denominator for basic earnings per share  Weighted average shares outstanding23,29723,194Basic earnings per share$ 0.83$ 0.52Diluted Earnings Per ShareNumerator for diluted earnings per share  Earnings available to Universal Corporation common shareholders$ 19,413$ 12,176  Add: Dividends on convertible perpetual preferred stock (if    conversion assumed)3,712?  Earnings available to Universal Corporation common shareholders   for calculation of diluted earnings per share23,12512,176Denominator for diluted earnings per share  Weighted average shares outstanding23,29723,194  Effect of dilutive securities (if conversion or exercise assumed)    Convertible perpetual preferred stock4,788?    Employee share-based awards306319  Denominator for diluted earnings per share28,39123,513Diluted earnings per share$ 0.81$ 0.52NOTE 3. SEGMENT INFORMATIONThe principal approach used by management to evaluate the Company's performance is by geographic region, although the dark-air cured and oriental tobacco businesses are each evaluated on the basis of their worldwide operations. The Company evaluates the performance of its segments based on operating income after allocated overhead expenses (excluding significant non-recurring charges or credits), plus equity in pretax earnings of unconsolidated affiliates.Operating results for the Company's reportable segments for each period presented in the consolidated statements of income were as follows:Three Months Ended June 30,(in thousands of dollars) 20122011SALES AND OTHER OPERATING REVENUES Flue-cured and burley leaf tobacco operations:    North America$ 60,486$ 58,629    Other regions (1)337,533358,650      Subtotal398,019417,279 Other tobacco operations (2)63,37262,186 Consolidated sales and other operating revenues$ 461,391$ 479,465OPERATING INCOME Flue-cured and burley leaf tobacco operations:    North America$ 978$ 5,577    Other regions (1)34,84120,909      Subtotal35,81926,486 Other tobacco operations (2)8,3772,805 Segment operating income44,19629,291 Deduct: Equity in pretax (earnings) loss of unconsolidated affiliates (3)(1,369)3,489        Restructuring costs (4)?(6,859) Add: Other income?9,592 Consolidated operating income$ 42,827$ 35,513(1) Includes South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia regions, as well as inter-region eliminations.(2) Includes Dark Air-Cured, Special Services, and Oriental, as well as inter-company eliminations. Sales and other operating revenues for this reportable segment include limited amounts for Oriental because its financial results consist principally of equity in the pretax earnings of an unconsolidated affiliate.(3) Item is included in segment operating income, but not included in consolidated operating income.(4) Item is not included in segment operating income, but is included in consolidated operating income. SOURCE Universal CorporationFor further information: Candace C. Formacek, +1-804-359-9311, Fax, +1-804-254-3584, Email: