WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) sees a bright future for its purchase of Lorillard Inc. and its overall operations, executives said Tuesday during its second-quarter earnings call.
The acquisition of Lorillard will "substantially enhance" RAI's portfolio, stated President and CEO Susan Cameron. "We are working diligently to prepare our proposed acquisition" and company officials are confident it will close during the first half of 2015, she said.
RAI also announced a new website, www.reynoldsamericaninfo.com, where visitors can track the progress of the acquisition and view past news releases and updates.
Aside from the Lorillard purchase, it is "business as usual" for RAI, which had "an excellent second quarter, with higher earnings and margin reflecting continued strong performance," Cameron reported. "The environment remains very competitive, and I'm particularly pleased to report that all our companies' key brands gained market share."
Company officials also discussed upcoming initiatives, including a technology-sharing agreement with British American Tobacco plc to further innovation and the development of next-generation products, and the continuing national rollout of R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co.'s VUSE digital vapor cigarette. The next phase of VUSE distribution is scheduled for early September, after kicking off its nationwide expansion in June.
The VUSE rollout is "progressing smoothly," said Cameron, adding that the "game-changing vapor product" is now in approximately 21,000 retail outlets.
During Q2 2014, R.J. Reynolds' adjusted operating income increased 5.4 percent, to $698 million, from the same quarter one year ago.
RAI also announced it will celebrate its 10th anniversary this Friday by ringing the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange. In its first decade, Cameron said the company accomplished a great deal, but officials are confident that "great things lie ahead."