Strong increase in snuff sales, Acquisition of General Cigar approved
Sales of moist snuff continued to show very strong growth in the first quarter. Sales rose to MSEK 376, up 27% compared with MSEK 295 in the corresponding period a year earlier.
Sales in the American market show continued positive growth. Volumes in the US increased 58% compared with the first quarter of 1998. Market share in the US rose to 6%. Volume increases in the Nordic market, including taxfree sales, totaled 9%.
Acquisition of General Cigar approved
The US competition authority has now approved the acquisition of mass market operations from General Cigar. As a result of the acquisition, Swedish Match's annual sales will increase by MSEK 800. Swedish Match plans to consolidate the newly acquired operation as of May 1 this year.
As a result of the acquisition, Swedish Match's net profit, after deductions for acquisition costs and amortization of goodwill, is estimated to increase by SEK 0.15-0.20 per share during next year. Cash flow per share is expected to increase by more than SEK 0.30 per share.
The interim report for the first quarter will be released on April 26, 1999.
Swedish Match is an international group with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. The company manufactures a broad range of tobacco products, matches and disposable lighters that are sold in approximately 140 countries. Annual sales in 1998 amounted to approximately 8,200 MSEK. Swedish Match is listed on Stockholm Stock Exchange and on NASDAQ
For further information, please contact:
Sven Hindrikes, Senior Vice President and office +46 8-658 02 82
Chief Financial Officer mobile +46 70-567 41 76
Bo Aulin, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs office +46 8-658 03 64 mobile +46 70-558 03 64
Boel Sundvall, Vice President, Investor Relations office +46 8-658 01 73 mobile +46 70-651 39 09