Universal Corporation Announces Enhanced Capital Allocation Strategy and 36% Dividend Increase
The Company's strategy focuses on four strategic priorities:
- Strengthening and investing for growth in Universal's core tobacco business;
- Increasing its strong dividend;
- Exploring growth opportunities in adjacent industries and markets that utilize our assets and capabilities; and
- Returning excess capital through share repurchases.
As part of the Company's commitment to shareholder returns, the Board has increased Universal's annual dividend per share to
Mr. Freeman continued, "We are confident in our continued ability to generate strong free cash flow. Our focus on strengthening our balance sheet in recent years has positioned us to enhance our capital allocation strategy and we will continually evaluate opportunities to return capital to shareholders on an ongoing basis. At the same time, we remain committed to maintaining our investment grade credit rating and extending our 47-year history of dividend increases."
In a separate press release today, the Company reported its annual results for the fiscal year ended
This information includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company cautions readers that any statements contained herein regarding earnings and expectations for its performance are forward-looking statements based upon management's current knowledge and assumptions about future events, including anticipated levels of demand for and supply of its products and services; costs incurred in providing these products and services; timing of shipments to customers; changes in market structure; government regulation, including the impact of regulations on tobacco products; product taxation; changes in U.S. federal income tax rates and legislation; industry consolidation and evolution; changes in global supply and demand positions for tobacco products; and general economic, political, market, and weather conditions. Actual results, therefore, could vary from those expected. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors can be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended
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Candace C. Formacek, Phone: (804) 359-9311, Fax: (804) 254-3584, Email: email@example.com