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Altria Group's CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results Good day, and welcome to the Altria Group 2011 Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Brendan McCormick, Vice President, Investor Relations for Altria Client Services. Please go ahead, sir. Good morning, and thank you for joining our call. This morning, we will only be discussing Altria's 2011 second quarter and first half business results and will not be discussing the status of tobacco litigation. Our remarks contain forward looking and cautionary statements and projections of future results including earnings guidance. I direct your attention to the forward looking and cautionary statements section at the end of our earnings release for the review of the various factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from projections. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Today's call may contain various operating results on both a reported and on an adjusted basis, which excludes items that affect the comparability of reported results. Descriptions of these measures and reconciliations are included in today's earnings press release and are available on our website. In addition, comparisons discussed in this conference call are to the same prior year period unless otherwise stated. Now it gives me great pleasure to introduce Mike Szymanczyk, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Altria Group Inc. Thanks, Brendan, and good morning to everyone. Altria delivered solid financial results from the second quarter and the first half with adjusted diluted EPS growth of 6% and 5.4%, respectively. Our premium tobacco brands performed well in a highly competitive environment marked by continuing economic pressure on adult consumers. We are pleased with our business results and remain on track to achieve the 2011 full year adjusted diluted EPS we forecast in our guidance. grew its adjusted operating company's income 2.8% for the second quarter and 4.8% for the first half. Adjusted operating company's income margins, which include the impact of a $36 million charge for the Scott case were down 3/10 of a percentage point in the second quarter and were up 1 percentage point for the first half. In the cigarette industry environment where premium share has remained relatively stable in recent years, Marlboro's retail share increased sequentially and performed well when compared to last year's record share in the second quarter. Marlboro's second quarter retail share grew by 4/10 of a share point versus the first quarter of 2011 to 42.6%. This represented a share decline of 2/10 of a share point compared to last year's record retail share. Marlboro's performance was driven in part by growth in Marlboro Menthol and the continued success of Special Blend, which launched 2 new packings last quarter. We are pleased with Marlboro's performance for the first half of 2011 from both a share and profitability standpoint. second quarter cigarette shipment volume benefited from trade inventory movements as the trade continued to build inventory levels through the quarter. We believe that the trade has already begun to deplete some of its inventory in July, and expect trade inventory depletion to impact shipment volume in the third quarter. improved its premium mix, delivered strong adjusted operating income margins and achieved solid share results from Marlboro. In the Smokeless Products segment, our companies delivered excellent adjusted operating companies income growth driven by the share performance of Copenhagen and Skoal and strong margin growth. Adjusted operating companies income for the Smokeless Products increased 10.9% for the second quarter and 7.2% for the first half. Adjusted operating companies income margins increased 3.8 percentage points for the second quarter and 3 percentage points for the first half primarily due to higher pricing, the shift to volume and to the more profitable Copenhagen and Skoal brands and lower SG costs. Copenhagen's momentum continued in the second quarter as the brand increased its retail share 1.1 percentage points versus the prior year and 7/10 of a share point sequentially. Copenhagen share results continue to benefit from recent product introductions, as well as strength in its core natural business. Skoal has responded to brand building initiatives. The brand gained sequential retail share for the second consecutive quarter as it benefited from the 2011 first quarter introduction of Skoal X tra products and Skoal Snus. Gains from these new products fully offset retail share losses, which resulted from USSTC's portfolio rationalization that delisted 7 Skoal SKUs that individually had limited distribution. Combined shipment volumes for Copenhagen and Skoal increased 2.4% in the second quarter and 3.2% for the first half. delivered excellent financial results in the Smokeless Products segment in the first half of 2011. We are pleased with the way Copenhagen and Skoal are performing and with the momentum they carry into the second half of the year. The Cigars segment continues to be affected by increased levels of low priced imported machine made large cigars following the 2009 federal excise tax increase. Middleton has taken a number of steps to improve its business performance including efficiently investing in promotional resources to defend Black Mild's retail share and launching new products to expand the brand into new segments, where it has not competed widely. In addition, Middleton has entered into a contract manufacturing arrangement to source a portion of its cigars outside of the United States. Middleton's second quarter adjusted operating companies income of $47 million was down versus the prior year but more than doubled sequentially, while Black Mild's retail share grew 9/10 of a share point versus last year, supported by new products and brand building initiatives. In the Wine segment, Ste. Michelle's adjusted operating companies income increased 11.8% in the second quarter and 17.2% for the first half. Wine shipment volume increased 6.3% in the second quarter and 3.5% in the first half. We believe that our business results through June put us on track to achieve our 2011 full year guidance for both reported and adjusted diluted EPS. We expect to deliver adjusted diluted EPS growth of 6% to 9% for the full year in a range of $2.01 to $2.07, off an adjusted base of $1.90 per share in 2010. We also expect to achieve reported diluted EPS in the range of $1.70 to $1.76. Since our second quarter and first half results benefited from trade inventory dynamics and as cigarette trade inventories are depleted in the third quarter, we expect Altria's 2011 fourth quarter adjusted diluted EPS growth to be stronger than the third quarter of 2011. I will now turn the call over to Howard Willard, Altria's Executive Vice President and CFO, who will discuss Altria's business segment results in more detail. Thank you, Mike. Good morning. In the Cigarette segment, second quarter reported operating companies income increased by 5.9% to $1.5 billion, primarily due to higher list prices and lower restructuring costs partially offset by lower volume, higher FDA user fees and a $36 million charge for the Scott case. Adjusted second quarter operating companies income, which is calculated excluding restructuring costs but including the charge for the Scott case, increased 2.8% to $1.5 billion. Adjusted operating companies income margins were 39.7% including the Scott case. grew at second quarter sequential retail share 0.3 share points versus the first quarter of 2011, primarily due to Marlboro's share performance. Reported Cigarette segment shipments declined by 0.7% but after adjusting primarily for the trade inventory changes Mike discussed, declined by an estimated 4.5%. estimates that the overall cigarette categories adjusted volume declined by approximately 3.5% in the second quarter, which is in line with historical price elasticity. The Smokeless Products segments reported second quarter operating companies income increased by 12.1% to $222 million primarily due to higher pricing, lower SG and lower restructuring costs, partially offset by lower volume. Adjusted operating companies income, which is calculated excluding restructuring costs, increased by 10.9% to $224 million. Copenhagen and Skoal demonstrated sequential share momentum in the second quarter, gaining that combined 0.9 share points. Skoal's second quarter retail share declined 0.3 share points year over year but increased 0.2 share points sequentially versus the first quarter of 2011. Skoal has gained 0.5 share points since the fourth quarter of 2010. Marlboro Snus volume and retail share comparisons were impacted by 2 factors. First, the brand had significantly lower levels of promotional activity compared to last year's national expansion. Second, new Marlboro Snus products launched earlier this year contained 15 pouches per tin compared to 6 pouches per foil pack in Marlboro's other 4 Snus packings. This makes volume and retail share comparisons more difficult since the tin with 15 pouches is considered equivalent to a foil pack with 6 pouches. Reported second quarter Smokeless Products shipments decreased by 2.1% but when adjusted primarily for new product pipeline volume, trade inventories and discontinued SKUs, adjusted volume grew by an estimated 4%. estimate that the Smokeless Products category grew about 5% in the first half. Middleton saw a sequential improvement in adjusted operating companies income and margins. Adjusted operating companies income margins increased sequentially by 16.2 percentage points to 49.5% as Middleton more efficiently allocated Black Mild's promotional investments. Black Mild's retail share performance in the second quarter benefited from brand building initiatives and the launch of untipped cigarillo varieties in both Classic and Sweets Blends. Middleton shipment volume was essentially flat in the second quarter. Ste. Michelle delivered strong financial results in the second quarter as adjusted operating companies income, which is calculated excluding restructuring in UST acquisition related costs, increased by 11.8% to $19 million. The Wine segment shipment volume in the second quarter benefited from higher off and on premise channel volume partially offset by changes in trade inventories. The Financial Services segment reported an operating companies loss of $463 million in the second quarter, resulting from the previously announced onetime charge related to the tax treatment of certain leverage leases. Second quarter adjusted operating companies income, which is calculated excluding the onetime charge was $27 million. Altria continued to manage its cost structure, delivering $80 million in cost savings this quarter. We expect to achieve at least $30 million in additional cost savings by the end of the year and are on track to exceed our goal of $1.5 billion in cost reductions versus 2006.

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