Profile: Universal Corp (UVV)
9 Dec 2013
Universal Corporation (Universal), incorporated on January 25, 1918, is a global leaf tobacco supplier. The Company’s business involves procuring and processing flue-cured and burley leaf tobacco for manufacturers of consumer tobacco products. The Company operates in over 30 countries on five continents. The Company’s reportable segments for its flue-cured and burley tobacco operations are North America and Other Regions. It also has a third reportable segment, Other Tobacco Operations, which comprises its dark tobacco business, its oriental tobacco joint venture, and certain tobacco-related services.
The Company’s business is procuring, financing, processing, packing, storing, and shipping leaf tobacco for sale to, or for the account of, manufacturers of consumer tobacco products worldwide. It contracts, purchases, processes, and sells flue-cured and burley tobaccos, as well as dark air-cured and oriental tobaccos. The Company also provides value-added services to its customers, including blending, chemical and physical testing of tobacco, service cutting for select manufacturers, manufacturing reconstituted leaf tobacco, and managing just-in-time inventory. Flue-cured, burley, and oriental tobaccos are used principally in the manufacture of cigarettes, and dark air-cured tobaccos are used mainly in the manufacture of cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products. The Company generates its revenues from product sales, processing fees, and fees for other services. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, it’s flue-cured and burley operations accounted for 90% of its revenues and 91% of its segment operating income.
The Company’s processing of leaf tobacco includes grading in the factories, blending, removal of non-tobacco material, separation of leaf from the stems, drying, packing to precise moisture targets for proper aging, as well as temporary storage. The Company is a purchaser and processor in the chief exporting regions for flue-cured and burley tobacco worldwide. The Company participates in the procurement, processing, storage, and sale of oriental tobacco through ownership of a 49% interest Socotab, L.L.C. The Company operates in dark tobacco producing countries, including the United States, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Paraguay, the Philippines, Nicaragua, and Brazil. Dark tobaccos are typically used in the manufacture of cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products, and as components of certain roll-your-own cigarette products.
The Company conducts its business in varying degrees in a number of countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Paraguay, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In addition, Socotab, L.L.C. has oriental tobacco operations in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, and Turkey. In the majority of the countries where it operates, including Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Mozambique, the Philippines, Poland, Tanzania, the United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, the Company contracts directly with tobacco farmers or tobacco farmer cooperatives. In many countries outside the United States, it also provides agronomy services and crop advances of, or for, seed, fertilizer, and other supplies. In Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, the Company also purchases tobacco under auction systems.
The Company competes with Alliance One International, Inc.
Stony Point II Building
9201 Forest Hill Avenue
RICHMOND VA 23235