Philip Morris said Wednesday it is hastening the closing a plant in North Carolina in response to "ongoing cigarette volume declines."About 1,100 people will lose their jobs this summer as a result of the closing in Cabarrus County, which Philip Morris first announced two years ago. Altria Group ( MO), which owns Philip Morris, on Wednesday reported a drop in profit that nonetheless beat Wall Street's expectations. Cigarette sales slipping 8% in the first quarter, and profit including one-time expenses dropped 76%. Earnings excluding one-time expenses were 39 cents per share, 4% lower than earnings from the first quarter of 2008.