News; Apr 29, 2002 CET

Our basic principle is openness

AS CAN BE SEEN from the recently presented yearend report for last year, 2001 was a good year for Swedish Match. A year-end report contains a mass of information about our sales, earnings, markets and products. Group policy is to be as open as possible in our corporate communications.

The only restriction relates to competition. We cannot jeopardize our operations - and ultimately harm both our employees and our shareholders - by revealing in detail to our competitors everything we have done and are planning to do.


Our successes are not something that can be taken for granted, but are the result of the diligent efforts made on a daily basis by the Group’s thousands of employees - a resource we intend to safeguard.


But our basic principle is openness.


The stock market’s appetite for information, in particular, can sometimes seem insatiable. Analysts process and reprocess our data and figures in their efforts to forecast our future development and assess our position in relation to our competitors. We endeavor to provide as helpful an information base as possible.


The information we provide is not exclusively the concern of the stock market. We are a company operating in an exposed sector. Our products are subjected to debate and critical examination.


Our own aim is to contribute to increased knowledge about the effects of tobacco use by being open about our own research results, which we also have never attempted to conceal. On the contrary, our researchers have regularly published their findings in scientific publications.


Among other objectives, we will endeavor to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco use by developing and marketing smokeless products that carry significantly lower health risks than cigarettes. »Snus by GOTHIATEK® is an example, and we are proud of what we have achieved in this product area in Sweden.


Shareholders, employees and society in general are all entitled to place rigorous demands on the information we provide, and we will try to meet these expectations.


Feel free to ask us questions, and we will answer as best we can.


Bo Aulin, General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs