Press release; Oct 24, 2002 CET

Interim Report January - September 2002

  • Sales increased 2 percent to 10,317 MSEK (10,105)
  • Organic growth amounted to 5 percent
  • Strong volume growth for snuff
  • Operating income increased 16 percent to 1,865 MSEK (1,608)1)
  • EPS increased 21 percent to 3.11 SEK (2.56)1)
  • Restructuring program of 68 MSEK will provide savings in 2003
  • EBITDA increased 13 percent to 2,370 MSEK (2,095)1)

1) excluding items affecting comparability

Sales for the first nine months increased by 2 percent, to 10,317 MSEK (10,105) led by continued solid growth in snuff operations. Organic growth amounted to 5 percent. Currency translation impact compared to last year has reduced reported sales by 3 percentage points during the first nine months.

Operating income excluding items affecting comparability grew by 16 percent to 1,865 MSEK (1,608). Most product areas experienced improved margins. In the third quarter there was a restructuring charge of 68 MSEK recorded as an item affecting comparability.

Net financial expense for the first nine months was -202 MSEK (-197). Net interest expense was -192 MSEK (-218).

Earnings per share, excluding items affecting comparability, increased by 21 percent to 3.11 SEK (2.56).