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    Altria To Meet Earnings Targets

    This year's tobacco legislation yield good implications for the fture, says CEO.

    NEW YORK -- The year "2003 has been a watershed year for tobacco litigation, with positive implications extending many years into the future, " Altria Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Louis Camilleri Altria Group Inc. told top executives yesterday, according to Reuters report.
    Altria's cigarette brands include the Marlboro, Merit and Virginia Slims lines.

    Camilleri also said he expects 2003 earnings to meet targets, the Reuters report stated.

    The CEO also outlined prospects for Altria's cigarette and food businesses during his remarks, his first presentation at an investors' meeting as the company's top executive.
    He said Philip Morris USA, the top player in the U.S. tobacco market, should be able to increase its operating companies' income in low single digits next year as the economy recovers, the report said.

    Philip Morris is the only major tobacco company that has publicly backed regulation of tobacco by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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