Altria Group, Inc. held investor presentations in New York City on 11 March 2008, and in London on 18 March 2008, in connection with the spin-off of Philip Morris International Inc. Louis C. Camilleri, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Andre Calantzopoulos, Chief Operating Officer and Hermann Waldemer, Chief Financial Officer, gave presentations on growth strategies, capital structure, cost savings and productivity initiatives, opportunities and outlook for Philip Morris International, followed by a question-and-answer session.
March 11, 2008
Introduction by Louis C. Camilleri
André Calantzopoulos, Hermann Waldemer and I are delighted to be here on the eve of PMI becoming an independent public company. We, together with our 75,000 employees, are genuinely excited by our future growth prospects and determined to fulfill our promise and to further build upon our former parent’s exceptional shareholder return legacy. Our review of PMI will be split into three parts.
I will first introduce you to PMI’s Board of Directors and senior leadership team and share with you our ambitions and aspirations for PMI and our longer term growth targets. André will review how we intend to leverage PMI’s unparalleled strengths and resources, and focus on the operational strategies that we will pursue to deliver these targets. Hermann will conclude by reviewing our productivity initiatives, our plans to exploit the strength of our balance sheet and our growing cash flow to enhance shareholder returns.
One of Altria’s historical hallmarks has always been the quality and shareholder value focus of its Board of Directors and its senior leadership team. PMI will undoubtedly share this characteristic going forward.
As Altria announced in January, PMI’s Board of Directors will include five former independent Altria Board members, who have served the company for an average of 13 years each and who are therefore intimately familiar with the intricacies of PMI’s business and prospects. Three new members will join them on the Board. They are Graham Mackay, Chief Executive Officer of SABMiller, Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer of the Fiat Group and Carlos Slim Helύ, who served on the Altria Board for approximately ten years, from 1997 to 2006. Together they represent a formidable Board with vast complementary skills and expertise to guide us in the years ahead.
Some of those on our senior management team are unknown to you, but I am sure that, as the months and years unfold, you will get to meet most, if not all, of them. They collectively hail from 11 different countries, have had an average tenure with the Altria group of companies of 20 years and all share a common passion for this wonderful company. Indeed, I could not hope to assemble a more talented, committed, growth-oriented and appropriately ambitious leadership team.
You should also know that we are blessed with a depth of management talent that goes way beyond these 15 individuals. While they today represent the icing on the cake, rest assured that there is an entire new generation of highly talented, young leaders who will propel PMI to ever greater heights in the years and decades to come.
PMI will shortly open a new chapter in its history which, as you all know, has been marked by an enviable track record of success.
Over the last 20 years, PMI’s shipment volume has grown at a compound annual rate of 4.8%, while underlying operating companies income has surged at a compound annual rate of 13.1%.
Our more recent history parallels this strong performance. Over the 2003 to 2007 period, cigarette shipment volume has grown at a compound annual rate of 3.7% and revenues, net of excise taxes, at a rate of 9.3%. Reported operating income has increased at an annual rate of 9.5%, while reported net earnings have increased by $2 billion, or 50%, over this four-year period, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of close to 11%.
The drivers of this strong income performance have been pricing, currency and acquisitions, partially offset by adverse volume/mix of some $900 million and higher expenditures behind sales, marketing, R&D and administration of $800 million. The adverse mix component of our earnings variance predominantly reflects a shift in geographic mix, as more of our growth has been generated by markets that yield lower, but nevertheless attractive, margins.
A frequent and legitimate complaint that we hear from investors, one that we wholeheartedly share, is that our organic volume/mix performance has lagged expectations. Another concern, often quoted in the same breath, is that PMI’s presence and performance in emerging markets is insufficiently significant. Let me address both issues.
It is an undeniable fact that our volume performance in several developed markets has suffered from a combination of adverse fiscal, regulatory and competitive developments that have simultaneously affected total cigarette consumption levels and put the premium segment we lead under pressure. Despite these headwinds, our performance in the 29 member countries of the OECD, excluding the United States, has been resilient. While our cigarette shipment volume has declined by 8% since 2003, Operating Companies Income (OCI) has increased by 29%, highlighting our ability to grow profitability in declining markets.
In non-OECD markets, a mixture of organic growth and acquisitions has enabled us to achieve a 48% increase in cigarette shipment volume over the same period and we have more than doubled our OCI.
Our share performance has been solid even in mature markets. Our share of OECD markets, excluding the USA, has grown by 1.2 share points to reach a level of 33.5%, while our share of non-OECD markets has increased by 5.3 share points to a total share of 20%. As a result, we have achieved a very good geographic balance with slightly more than half our volume being generated outside the generally more mature OECD markets. These, of course, remain highly and increasingly profitable and the split in profitability is about two thirds OECD and one third non-OECD.
Could we have done better? Possibly. Can we going forward? Certainly, as André will shortly demonstrate to you.
Many of the issues that converged in several important markets to dampen our overall pace of growth are largely behind us and, importantly, we see nothing today on the horizon that we believe will have a dislocating impact of the magnitude we have had to swallow in the recent past.
This is a realistic expectation. The operating environment has improved significantly with governments more frequently adopting less discriminatory and fairer excise tax structures. In addition, we believe the competitive brand repositioning to lower price segments that we have witnessed is largely complete, partially resulting from a further wave of industry consolidation.
This less turbulent industry framework is also evidenced by our strong 2007 earnings performance and improving quarter to quarter operating momentum. This brings me to our aspirations and ambitions for the future.
Quite simply, we aspire to deliver top-tier performance, not only within the tobacco industry, but within the broader, global consumer packaged goods industry. We believe that we can deliver strong, predictable and consistent growth benefiting, in part, from the attractive characteristics of our industry which include solid pricing power, a cost base that is not prone to volatility in commodity costs, attractive margins and an inherent ability to generate strong cash flows. This will enable us to return significant amounts of cash through dividends and share repurchases to reward shareholders.
As announced in January 2008, we project 2008 diluted earnings per share to grow by approximately 12% to 14% at the then prevailing exchange rates from a 2007 pro-forma adjusted base of $2.78.
Longer term, we target net revenue growth, net of excise taxes, of 4% to 6% a year on average with cigarette shipment volume increasing 1% to 2% a year; operating income growth of 6% to 8% a year on average; and EPS growth in the range of 10% to 12% a year on average. I trust that -- at the conclusion of our presentation -- you will share our belief that these targets, while appropriately ambitious, can be delivered in a predictable and consistent manner.
I know full well that setting such growth targets is one thing, delivering them is another. André and Hermann will now describe how we intend to do so and why we are confident in our ability to deliver.
Ultimately, our success depends on our people and our brands. I am convinced that we have the focus, discipline, passion, creativity and determination within our organization, as well as the financial wherewithal, to grow our unparalleled brand portfolio in the years ahead.
More Speeches and Presentations