Altria Grows Net Revenue 5%

Third-quarter results were announced today for cigarette and tobacco distributor Altria (NYSE: MO  ) , and there was plenty of growth to see. The company's overall quarterly net revenue rose 5% compared to this time last year, to $6.6 billion.

Altria's operating income rose 8.3% to $2.1 billion. Additionally, Altria's net income more than doubled compared to this time last year to $1.4 billion, although Q3 2012's lower profit was due to an $874 million payment to extinguish debt.

In the company press release, CEO Marty Barrington noted "strong results in our core business" and innovating tobacco products. He expressed plans to build onto the company's already strong business model with a further push into the e-cigarette industry, saying "We're pleased with Nu Mark's ... market launch in Indiana of its MarkTen e-vapor products. Further, Nu Mark plans to expand distribution of MarkTen to Arizona in December."

Altria experienced particular growth in its smokeless products division, with net revenue jumping 11% from where it was in Q3 last year, primarily due to higher volume and higher pricing and partially offset by higher promotional investments. Smokeable products saw a 3.4% increase in net revenue, also due to higher price and shipment volume.

Marlboro volumes grew 1.5%, while volume for its other premium brands fell by more than 7%, and volumes for discount cigarette brands like L&M increased 5%. Its share of the U.S. retail market rose 0.2 percentage points to 50.7%. Marlboro's share of the U.S. market was flat at 43.7%.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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