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Universal Corporation income $133 million

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Staff writer |
Universal CorporationUniversal Corporation, the world's largest leaf tobacco merchant, reported net income for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 of $132.8 million (EPS $4.66), compared with last year's $92.1 million (EPS $3.25).

The comparison of the current and prior fiscal year is affected by several unusual items, amounting to net pretax charges of $4.1 million ($0.06 per diluted share), and $40.1 million ($1.42 per diluted share) for fiscal years 2013 and 2012, respectively.

Segment operating income for fiscal year 2013, which excludes those unusual items, was $232.8 million, up $9.2 million compared with the prior year, as improved performance in the Company's Other Regions and Other Tobacco Operations segments was partially offset by a decline in the North America segment. Revenues for fiscal year 2013 of $2.5 billion were relatively flat compared with the previous year, on lower volumes at higher average prices.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013, net income was $26.1 million, or $0.92 per diluted share, compared to last year's net income of $25.8 million, or $0.91 per diluted share. Segment operating income for the period was down $2.1 million compared with the prior year, as lower results in the Other Regions segment were partly offset by improvements in the North America and Other Tobacco Operations segments.

Revenues for the quarter of $645.1 million were down about 1% as reduced volumes, primarily in the Other Regions segment, were nearly offset by higher average leaf prices in many origins and higher revenues for the North America segment.

"As we move into fiscal year 2014, we are seeing crop sizes increase in many of the key sourcing areas for flue-cured and burley tobacco in response to strong global leaf demand. Sales activity has also been robust, especially for quality flavor flue-cured styles of tobacco. While we look forward to another productive year, total volumes shipped may be lower in fiscal year 2014," said George C. Freeman, III, chairman, president, and CEO of Universal Corporation.

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