Dividend and financial policy

The dividend policy of the Company is a pay-out ratio of 40 to 60 percent of the earnings per share, subject to adjustments for larger one time items.

The Board has further determined that the financial policy should be that the Group will strive to maintain a net debt that does not exceed 3 times EBITA.

The Board continually reviews the financial position of the Company, and the actual level of net debt will be assessed against anticipated future profitability and cash flow, investment and expansion plans, acquisition opportunities as well as the development of interest rates and credit markets. The Board is committed to maintain an investment grade credit rating.

Dividend 2018

The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) a total dividend of 16.60 SEK per share consisting of an increased ordinary dividend per share of 9.20 SEK (8.50) and a special dividend of 7.40 SEK. The proposed ordinary dividend is in line with Swedish Match’s ambition to continually grow dividend per share with a payout ratio normally within 40-60 percent of earnings per share, subject to adjustment for larger one-time items. The proposed dividend of 9.20 SEK per share represents an increase of 8 percent and equal a payout ratio of 56 percent (59) of the earnings per share for the year, excluding income from STG and larger one-time items. The special dividend of 7.40 SEK is proposed in accordance with Swedish Match’s financial policy of returning excess cash to its shareholders and follows the sale of the remaining shareholding in STG in November 2017. The proposed ordinary and special dividend together amounts to 2,920 MSEK based on the 175.9 million shares outstanding at the end of the year.

Dividend history2017201620152014201320122011201020092008200720062005200420032002200120001999199819971996
Dividend, SEK16,60*16.0029.507.507.307.306.505.504.754.103.502.502.101.901.701.601.451.351.221.081.051.05

* Board proposal

Transfer of capital to Swedish Match shareholders20172016201520142013Total
Dividend paid2,9085,5221,4641,4531,45912,807
Repurchase of own shares, net2,5901,2491,8548361646,694
Total5,4986,7713,3182,2891,62319,500