Universal Corp. reported sales and other operating revenue of $2.57 billion in 2023, up 22 percent over that recorded in the previous fiscal year. Operating income rose 13 percent to $181.1 million. Tobacco operations contributed $2.26 billion to the company’s sales and operating revenues compared with $1.84 billion in 2022. Operating income for the tobacco operations segment increased by $15.1 million to $172.9 million.
“Fiscal year 2023 was a good year for Universal,” said Universal chairman, President and CEO George C. Freeman III in a statement. “Tobacco shipments were strong as logistical constraints eased in fiscal year 2023, and despite tight tobacco supply conditions, we were able to secure the leaf tobacco needed by our customers. Our plant-based ingredients platform continued to perform well, and we are excited about our progress in integrating our ingredients companies and executing our strategies.
“During fiscal year 2023, we enhanced and increased the scope of our platform by adding sales and research and development resources, and we recently announced plans to expand our plant-based ingredients platform’s manufacturing capabilities.
“Our results for fiscal year 2023 and the quarter ended March 31, 2023, included a favorable final ruling on a legal case involving one of our subsidiaries in Brazil regarding the exclusion of certain tax credits on exported goods in the calculation of taxable income. As a result of the favorable ruling, we recognized $5 million of interest income and a $24.2 million net income tax benefit in the quarter ended March 31, 2023.”