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    Universal Corp.
    list rank
    From the April 28, 1997, Washington Post


    '96 (in $ 000s) % Change From '95
    Revenue 3,570,000 8.8
    Net Income 72,200 181.6
    Rank Last Year: 7
    Description:
    Universal Corp. is a holding company for Universal Leaf Tobacco, the world's largest independent tobacco merchant, and several European companies that sell products as diverse as lumber and tea.

    Business Resume:
    • Contact Info --
      1501 N. Hamilton St.
      Richmond, Va. 23230
      804-359-9311
    • Main Business --
      Tobacco processor
    • Founded --
      1918
    • Chairperson --
      Henry H. Harrell (CEO)
    • President --
      Allen B. King
    • Employees --
      30,000
    Developments:
    The company had one of its most profitable years in 1996, with earnings per share of $2.04 for the 12 months ended in December, more than double the year-earlier earnings.

    Though the tobacco growers were battered by a pair of hurricanes that struck North Carolina during the year, Universal officials said their tobacco crop was nonetheless larger than that of 1995. The company harvested 406 million kilos of flue-cured tobacco and 230 million kilos of burley tobacco, compared with 387 and 230 million kilos, respectively, in 1995.

    And after years of oversupply—spurred largely by cigarette makers' less-than-successful foray into new markets created by the breakup of the former Soviet Union—tobacco prices rose in 1996. The company's Holland-based subsidiary, Deli International, also enjoyed a stellar year selling lumber.

    © Copyright 1997 The Washington Post

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