From: Reuters
Published April 23, 2008 07:17 AM

Philip Morris International profit rises

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Marlboro cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc <PM.N> on Wednesday posted higher quarterly profit in its first earnings report as a solo company after being spun off from Altria Group Inc <MO.N>.

The company also raised its full-year earnings forecast, citing favorable foreign exchange rates and other factors.

The world's largest non-state owned cigarette maker posted first-quarter profit of $1.87 billion, or 89 cents a share, compared with $1.45 billion, or 69 cents a share, a year earlier. Earnings-per-share figures for the 2007 quarter are based on the number of shares distributed by Altria in the spinoff.

Revenue rose 17.6 percent to $15.6 billion.

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Philip Morris was spun off from Altria at the end of March, giving investors a pure play in the international cigarette business, which is seen as having more growth while the U.S. market continues to shrink.

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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