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Remarks By Marty Barrington, Chairman, Ceo And President, Altria Group, Inc Exhibit

The following excerpt is from the company's SEC filing.

Exhibit 99.1

Remarks by Marty Barrington, Altria Group, Inc.’s (Altria) Chairman, CEO and President, and other members of Altria’s senior management team

2016 Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Conference

Boca Raton, Florida

Good afternoon and thank you, Jane. I’m joined by several members of our management team this afternoon. With me here on stage to speak are Howard Willard, our COO, and Billy Gifford, our CFO. Denise Keane, our General Counsel, and Jim Dillard, who leads research, development, regulatory affairs and innovation, are also here an d will be joining us for our breakout session. We’re very happy to be back at CAGNY and with all of you.

Before we begin, please review the Safe Harbor Statement in today’s presentation and the Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements section in today’s press release, where we describe the various factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from projections included in today’s remarks. Reconciliations and further explanations of the non-GAAP financial measures we discuss today are available on

Altria had yet another year of excellent business results and outstanding shareholder returns in 2015. Adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) grew almost 9%, outpacing our five-year compounded annual growth rate of 8%. Our core businesses generated impressive and consistent income growth. We raised our dividend 8.7%. And we delivered a total shareholder return (TSR) of over 23%, outperforming the S&P 500 by more than 2100 basis points. And as a reminder, our TSR was 35% in 2014 and 29% in 2013.

We’re reminded that the U.S. tobacco categories represent approximately $82 billion annually in consumer spending in major retail channels and that the cigarette category, at $70 billion, is larger than U.S. beer and carbonated beverages sales combined.


sits atop the category with approximately $34 billion in sales in 2015. That’s a leadership position we don’t take lightly or for granted.

Our companies’ leadership in the core tobacco categories is anchored by four great premium brands:

in cigarettes,


in smokeless tobacco, and

Black & Mild

in machine-made large cigars. We complement this total tobacco platform with an excellent wine business in Ste. Michelle

Remarks by Altria’s Chairman, CEO and President, and other members of Altria’s senior management team at CAGNY Conference, February 17, 2016

Wine Estates (Ste. Michelle) and our large beer stake, today comprising an approximately 27% interest in SABMiller plc (SABMiller). We focus intently to maximize these assets to deliver consistent earnings and dividend growth in line with our long-term financial goals, which are:

to grow adjusted diluted EPS at an average annual rate of 7% to 9%; and

to maintain a target dividend payout ratio of approximately 80% of adjusted diluted EPS.

We do so by focusing on three strategies:

first, to maximize income from the core tobacco businesses over the long term;

second, to grow new income streams with innovative tobacco products; and

third, to manage our diverse income streams and strong balance sheet to deliver consistent financial performance.

These three strategies require vigilance in how we manage and improve each of our assets. Our beer position is a perfect example of how we have continually evaluated and enhanced our position, always seeking to maximize value. So, let’s take a moment to review that.

We’ve been involved in the beer category since 1970, when we acquired Miller Brewing for $230 million. We owned and operated Miller until 2002, when we merged it with South African Breweries plc, forming the world’s second-largest brewer, SABMiller. In that tax-efficient deal, Altria secured three board seats, shares valued at approximately $3.5 billion, representing a 36% economic interest, and approximately $2 billion in cash.

Thereafter, we supported SABMiller as it executed its growth strategy - both organically and through acquisitions - and our interest grew as well. In fact, the pre-tax market value of our interest in SABMiller grew from about $3.5 billion to approximately $19.5 billion as of September 2015. That was just before the announcement that Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (AB InBev) had approached SABMiller to discuss a combination.

From 2002 through 2015, Altria received nearly $9 billion in equity earnings and nearly $4 billion in dividends from our interest in SABMiller. It’s been a strong contributor to our diverse business model.

Periodically, however, the question would be asked: what should Altria do with this very valuable asset? Our answer always was: whatever is best for the Altria shareholder. To assure that we accomplished that, we regularly evaluated our options with regard to the stake and, in considering whether to evolve from that position, we established objectives for any potential future transaction. These included:

continued participation in the global beer profit pool;

tax efficiency;

receiving an appropriate premium; and

achieving appropriate board representation to assure that we maintained significant influence over the asset.

As we all know, in November 2015 AB InBev and SABMiller announced their agreement to combine these great companies. When completed, this proposed transaction will, among other things:

unite complementary geographies to create the first truly global beer company and one of the world’s largest CPG companies;

generate significant growth opportunities for a combined portfolio of leading brands;

build on the strengths of the world’s great beer operators, including AB InBev’s historical success at integrating companies; and

establish a well-capitalized new company with terrific future prospects including cost synergies.

While this potential transaction means a lot for these great companies, it also meets

objectives, as upon closing, Altria expects to:

continue participation in the global beer profit pool with an approximately 10.5% stake in the new company;

achieve continued tax efficiency;

have two seats on the new company’s board of directors;

continue the use of equity accounting for the asset’s contribution to Altria’s earnings; and

receive approximately $2.5 billion pre-tax in cash.

And we will capture a significant premium. The size of the premium will ultimately depend on final closing prices, exchange rates and, as with the other expected benefits, is subject to any proration that may occur. But as an example, as of the date of the November agreement, the terms of the partial share alternative we have accepted represented an approximate 43% premium to SABMiller’s undisturbed share price.

Closing the transaction will be an exciting next step, and we’re pleased to be a part of it all.

In our core tobacco businesses, our most valuable asset is Philip Morris USA Inc.’s (PM USA) terrific

brand. Thanks to vision, innovation and careful stewardship,

has been the leading U.S. cigarette brand for 40 years. In fact,

has been on the top 10 list of the world’s most valuable global brands in each of the past 10 years.

anchors our smokeable products segment, which includes cigarettes and machine-made large cigars. These businesses had terrific 2015 results:

adjusted operating companies income (OCI) increased almost 11%;

PM USA’s cigarette volume was up modestly versus 2014, after adjusting for trade inventory changes and other factors, and John Middleton Co.’s cigar shipment volume increased over 4%;

PM USA’s retail share reached a record 51.3%; and

grew its leading retail share two tenths to 44%, another record.

As we move forward, PM USA is investing to capitalize on

’s strength in three areas:

innovation to maintain

’s vibrancy;

scale and breadth at retail; and

our advantage in digital engagement.

PM USA personified innovation at its core when it introduced the

architecture in 2012. We created four distinct flavor families, allowing

new ways to express its brand values and connect with a diverse base of adult smokers.


historic strength has been in the non-menthol segment; so maintaining that leadership continues to be very important. The non-menthol segment comprises nearly 70% of the cigarette category and

continues to be significantly over-indexed in the segment.

In addition, the architecture also allowed

to expand its product lineup and strengthen its position in the growing menthol segment. Over the past few years, PM USA expanded its menthol offerings including:

Black Menthol and

Menthol Rich Blue; and

the latest Black family offering,

Midnight Menthol.

Midnight offers bold menthol flavor, a novel soft-touch pack and is supported with vivid point-of-sale signage.


is the number two menthol brand and among the fastest growing menthol brands.

’s menthol retail share grew 0.5 points since 2012 to 7.2 percent.

In the U.S. cigarette category,

’s scale and brand loyalty are important to our trade partners. Four out of ten adult smokers enter a convenience store (c-store) seeking

is the most valuable brand of any category in c-store inside sales. So, we’ve invested in a strong sales team at Altria Group Distribution Company.

Our sales team has developed strong expertise in helping our trade partners build on

value and the value of our companies’ brands to enhance their profitability. Our sales coverage includes approximately 240,000 stores, representing 90% of tobacco industry volume and all major trade classes. This broad coverage differentiates Altria from our competitors.

Our trade partners work closely with PM USA thanks to the value of the


brand. Take digital innovation, for example. In 2015, we worked with our trade partners to launch and then expand mobile coupons for our adult smokers. This was a technological leap forward for branded CPGs, requiring integration across a wide variety of retailer platforms. And after just several months in market, adult smokers are increasingly turning to the convenience of mobile coupons and almost 100,000 retailers are accepting them. This is a terrific start, with plenty of opportunity for growth.

Digital engagement is key to PM USA’s marketing efforts. PM USA has been engaging with adult smokers on a one-to-one basis with broad scale since the 1990s, when the company began building a database of age-verified smokers 21 and older. Since then, PM USA has developed one-to-one relationships with millions of smokers 21 and older through direct mail, website and mobile platforms, all while limiting the reach of its marketing to unintended audiences. The approach is responsible, efficient and effective.

As we’re about to show you, our digital engagement capability is rapidly accelerating and one of the strongest among CPGs. [VIDEO] Notably,

has twice the number of mobile visits than the next largest CPG website according to comScore.

connected with smokers 21 and over through digital tools more than a hundred million times in 2015 including coupons, website, email and apps,

representing growth of almost 160% in digital interactions since 2012. So, look for further digital innovation from PM USA in the future.

As we continue to invest in

to maintain a vibrant franchise,

we monitor the effectiveness of those investments across various measures of brand leadership and performance. Today, let’s discuss

s equity, demographics and share.

First, adult smokers continue to confirm

’s strong brand equity. Since 2010, we’ve commissioned an annual independent brand equity review that measures equity across numerous dimensions and as an overall composite. The results?

’s overall equity scores among adult smokers have strengthened since 2010, rising about one point per year off an already high base. And

’s overall equity score continues to significantly exceed any other competitive brand. That’s also true among adult smokers 21-29.

’s overall equity score now stands more than 14 points higher than the leading competitive brands.

Second, investments in

’s strong equity have helped strengthen its demographics. When looking at adult smoker share trends since the introduction of the architecture, overall

share has grown and

’s share among smokers 21-29 remains at or slightly above its overall share. In fact,

’s share among smokers 21-29 remains significantly larger than key competitive brands. Importantly, the trajectory of

hare among smokers 21-29, which was in decline prior to 2012, has stabilized.


’s superior equity and strong demographics continue to translate to remarkable retail share performance. At 44 points,

’s retail share for 2015 was larger than the next 10 brands combined and, in the past three years,

was the retail share leader in every state. 2015 marked the fourth consecutive year of market share growth...