News; Sep 10, 2004 CET

Stable share price during most recent quarter

The Swedish Match share price has increased by 4.1 percent since the beginning of the year (as of July 7). If the dividend received by the shareholders is included, the total return for the share increased by 6.3 percent. Measured over the most recent 12-month period, the share price has increased by 30 percent, which is somewhat more than the market average. During the most recent quarter, the share price was largely unchanged. The increase occurred earlier during the year, a period when the news flow on the company was quite active, i.e. regarding the settlement between Swedish Match and US Tobacco and the negotiations in the EU court regarding the legality of the EU’s ban on snus. The case was taken up by the court in the beginning of June, and a ruling is expected toward the end of the year, or soon thereafter. This case is being closely monitored by market analysts who are trying to assess market potential in Europe. According to Swedish Match’s assessment, even if the ban on snus were to be lifted, it would take time before snus becomes a major product in Europe.

The Stockholm Exchange as a whole (SAX) has risen 7.6 percent during the year. The interest rate increase that the US Federal Reserve implemented in June was expected and did not result in any negative consequences for the stock market. The economic recovery in the US is gaining strength. At the same time, increasing oil prices, a weak USD and a tendency towards interest-rate increases makes the economic outlook difficult to judge. Clear trends are lacking,

Continued development of the stock market will be greatly affected by the interim reports for the first six months that will begin to be published during the summer months. Expectations are that corporate profits will remain strong. Swedish Match published its interim report on July 21.