Interim Report January - March 2000
- Sales increased 13 percent to 2,394 MSEK (2,122)
- EBITDA increased to 536 MSEK (524)
- Operating income, excluding divested business, increased 33 percent to 415 MSEK (313)
- Operating income, including divested business, decreased to 415 MSEK (440)
- Proposed redemption program: One share out of 14 at 35 SEK
- Launch of share repurchase program
Swedish Match sales increased by 13 percent in the first quarter versus the same period last year. Snuff continued to show strong organic growth. Acquired businesses added significantly to sales, offsetting lower volume in Other operations and reduced match sales. Smokeless tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco) and brown tobacco (cigars and pipe tobacco) continued to show strong performance. Both sales and operating income improved versus same period last year for all product categories except matches, which is currently involved in a restructuring program.
An increased annual dividend is proposed, to 1.25 SEK per share (1.10). A program to redeem 1,000 MSEK, as well as a buy-back program of up to 5% of outstanding shares, is also proposed.
The announced 64 percent investment in General Cigar Holdings, Inc. is proceeding according to plan, awaiting final approval by the shareholders of General Cigar. The announced acquisition of National Tobacco’s chewing tobacco brands is currently under review by US regulatory authorities.
The Swedish Match share is listed on the OM Stockholm Stock Exchange (SWMA) and NASDAQ (SWMAY).
For further information please contact:
Lennart Sundén, President & Chief Executive Officer +46 8 658 01 75
Sven Hindrikes, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer +46 8 658 02 82
Bo Aulin, Senior Vice President, Secretary +46 8 658 03 64 and General Counsel
Emmett B. Harrison, Vice President, Investor Relations +46 8 658 01 73