Lorillard, the maker of Newport, Maverick and True cigarettes, says its first-quarter profit climbed 26 percent as domestic wholesale shipments and average prices grew.
The nation's third-biggest cigarette maker said higher federal excise taxes on smokes helped boost its revenue.
Lorillard said Monday its earnings rose to $232 million, or $1.50 per share, in the three months ended March 31. That's up from earnings of $184 million, or $1.09 a share, a year ago.
It says revenue climbed to $1.36 billion from $917 million as domestic wholesale shipments of discount brand Maverick grew 48.7 percent. Excluding federal excise taxes, revenue was $923 million partly on higher average prices. Wall Street predicted revenue of $802.7 million.
Last week rivals Reynolds American Inc. and Altria Group Inc. reported declines in cigarette sales.
Lorillard Inc. is based in Greensboro, N.C.
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