Tobacco outfit

Universal

(UVV) - Get Report

swung to a loss in the first quarter, hurt by impairment charges.

The company lost $2.3 million, or 23 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a profit of $11.8 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier. The results included a charge of $17.2 million, or 67 cents a share, related to a share impairment charge on long- lived assets used in tobacco growing projects in Zambia and a share valuation allowance on deferred tax assets.

Revenue increased 9.7% from a year ago to $943.2 million. Revenue from the tobacco business increased 13.2% to $447.6 million and in lumber and building products it grew 17.6% to $285.9 million. Revenue from agri-products sales fell 5.4% to $209.7 million.

The company expects to record an after-tax loss of $25 million in the second quarter related to sale of its non-tobacco businesses managed by its subsidiary, Deli Universal.

"Although our results for the first fiscal quarter were negatively impacted by the impairment charge related to Zambian growing projects, the remainder of the business has fared well under a number of cross currents. Some of the negative shipment timing situations in this quarter will reverse during the year, but shipment timing changes are constant in our business," the company said.

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