Altria Group reported net revenues of $6.03 billion in the first quarter of 2021, down 5.1 percent from the comparable 2020 quarter. The decline was driven primarily by lower net revenues in the smokable products segment.
Net revenues net of excise taxes were $4.88 billion, 3.3 percent lower than in last year’s quarter. Reported diluted earnings per share declined 7.2 percent to $0.77, primarily driven by losses on early extinguishment of debt from a debt liability management transaction, a decrease in the estimated fair value of Altria’s investment in Juul and higher acquisition-related costs, partially offset by higher reported operating companies’ income (in the wine segment and favorable Cronos-related and ABI-related special items).
“We are off to a strong start to the year and believe our businesses are on track to deliver against full-year plans. Against a challenging comparison, our tobacco businesses performed well in the first quarter and we continued to make progress advancing our noncombustible portfolio,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s CEO, in a statement.
“This morning, we announced another important milestone in Altria’s journey in ‘moving beyond smoking.’ We now have full global ownership of On! oral nicotine pouches as we recently closed transactions to acquire the remaining 20 percent global interest.”
“We would like to honor the memory of Tom Farrell, our late chairman of the board. Tom served 13 distinguished years on our board, offered valuable insights and guidance during his tenure and was a true visionary. We will miss his leadership, contributions and friendship.”
In March, Altria Group announced that Thomas F. Farrell II would retire from the company’s board of directors following the completion of his current term. Farrell has been a director of Altria since 2008.