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Altria Group, Inc. ( ) (previously named Philip Morris Companies Inc.), based in Henrico County, Virginiamarker, is the parent company of Philip Morris USA, John Middleton, Inc., Philip Morris Capital Corporation, and Ste Michelle Wine Estates, and is one of the world's largest tobacco corporations [remark: outdated info. Philip Morris Intl. was carved out in 2008]. In addition, Altria Group, Inc. has a 28.7% economic and voting interest in one of the world's largest brewing companies, UK based SABMiller plc. It is a component of the S&P 500 and was a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average until February 19, 2008. The company has its head offices in unincorporated Henrico County, Virginiamarker.

On January 27, 2003, Philip Morris Companies Inc. changed its name to Altria Group, Inc. On March 30, 2007, a spin out of Kraft Foods subsidiary (publicly traded since 2001) was concluded through distribution of the remaining stake of shares (88.1%) to Altria shareholders. As a result, Altria no longer holds any interest in Kraft Foods. On March 28, 2008 a similar spin out of Philip Morris International was completed with 100% of shares being distributed to Altria shareholders.

On January 6, 2009, Altria Group, Inc. completed the acquisition of UST Inc., the world's leading moist smokeless tobacco manufacturer, and also acquired Ste Michelle Wine Estates, a leading fine wine company.

History

Holdings

Altria Group, Inc. owns 100 percent of Philip Morris USA, John Middleton, Inc. and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. It also owns 28.7% of SABMiller PLC.

Before the recent restructuring, the net revenue (and operating income) of Altria Group, Inc. came predominantly from its tobacco business, as is shown in the following table. Altria's share of SABMiller's revenue and profits is not included in the table below because its holding is too small to be consolidated in the group accounts.
Activity Net revenue

in 2006

(millions USD)
Net revenue

in 2006

(%)
Operating

income

in 2006

(millions USD)
Operating

income

in 2006

(%)
USA tobacco 18,474 18.2% 4,812 26.5%
International tobacco 48,260 47.6% 8,458 46.5%
North American food 23,118 22.8% 3,753 20.7%
International food 11,238 11.1% 964 5.3%
Financial services 317 0.3% 176 1.0%
Total 101,407 100% 18,163 100%


Branding as Altria

The rebranding of Phillip Morris to Altria took place in 2003. The company wished to emphasize that its business consists of more than tobacco; at the time, it owned an 84% stake in Kraft, although that business has since been spun off. The name "Altria" comes from the Latin word for "high" and was part of a trend of companies rebranding to names that previously did not exist, Accenture and Verizon being two other notable examples. The rebranding took place amidst financially troubled circumstances.

Controversy

"Philip Morris documents show the majority of the company's internal reports regarding 210Po (Polonium) were not published. One manuscript believed by some Philip Morris scientists to be favorable to the tobacco industry was withheld from publication for fear of heightening public awareness of 210Po."

Tobacco

Philip Morris USA brands:

Wine

  • Chateau Ste Michelle
  • Columbia Crest
  • Stags Leap Wine Cellars
  • Conn Creek
  • Red Diamond
  • Snoqualmie
  • Spring Valley
  • Villa Mt Eden
  • Erath
  • Col Solare
  • Northstar
  • Villa Antinori
  • Tormaresca
  • Tignanello
  • Antica Napa Valley
  • Solaia
  • Santa Cristina
  • Haras di Pirque
  • La Bracessca
  • Montenisa
  • Hawk Crest
  • Fourteen Hands
  • Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte
  • Palmes d'Or
  • Domaine Ste Michelle


Corporate governance

Board of directors

Current members of the board of directors of Altria Group are:

Headquarters

Prior to being based in Virginia, Philip Morris had its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York Citymarker. In 2003 Philip Morris announced that it would move its headquarters to Virginia. The company said that it planned to keep around 750 employees in its former headquarters. Brendan McCormick, a spokesperson for Philip Morris, said that the company estimated that the move would save the company over $60 million each year. The company now has its head offices in unincorporated Henrico County, Virginiamarker, near Richmondmarker.

Political influence

According to the Center for Public Integrity, Altria spent around $101 million on lobbying the United States government between 1998 and 2004, making it the second most active organization in the nation.

See also



References

External links




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