Press release; Apr 23, 2002 6:43 PM CET

Swedish Match shareholders approve dividend hike to 1.45 SEK

Major items approved by today’s Annual General Meeting include:

  • Dividend will increase from 1.35 SEK/share to 1.45 SEK
  • Election of Tuve Johannesson and Arne Jurbrant to Board of Directors
  • 10 Million shares repurchased by the Company are authorized to be withdrawn
  • Mandate to repurchase up to 10 percent of all shares in the Company prolonged

At the Annual General Meeting of Swedish Match on April 23th, it was resolved in accordance with the proposal of the Board of Directors to pay a dividend per share of 1.45 SEK. The record date for the dividend entitlement was set at April 26th, 2002. The dividend is expected to be distributed on May 2, 2002, through VPC.

Shareholders have re-elected Jan Blomberg, Bernt Magnusson, Lennart Sundén, Meg Tivéus, and Klaus Unger to the Board of Directors, and have elected Tuve Johannesson and Arne Jurbrant.

Furthermore, the shareholders approved an authorization for a reduction in the Company’s share capital by 24,000,000 SEK through withdrawal of 10,000,000 shares in the Company. The shares in the Company to be withdrawn have been repurchased by the Company in accordance with previous shareholder authorization.

Shareholders approved an authorization to decide, prior to the next Annual General Meeting, to acquire a maximum of as many shares as may be acquired without the Company’s holding at any time exceeding 10 percent of all shares in the Company. The shares shall be acquired on the Stockholmsbörsen at a price within the price interval registered at any given time (market price).

The meeting also resolved to allow the Company to issue up to 1,518,770 call options to a combined value of 15,339,577 SEK, which corresponds to the value of options allocated in accordance with the Company’s options program for 2001.

In addition, shareholders approved all other proposals made by the Board of Directors as outlined in the published notice of the Annual General Meeting for Swedish Match AB.

Swedish Match is an international group with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. The company manufactures a broad range of tobacco products, matches and disposable lighters which are sold in approximately 140 countries. Sales for the twelve month period ending March 31, 2002 amounted to 13,883 MSEK. Swedish Match is listed on Stockholmsbörsen (SWMA) and on NASDAQ (SWMAY).

For further information, please contact:

Lennart Sundén, President and Chief Executive Officer+46 8 658 01 75
  
Sven Hindrikes, Executive Vice President and+46 8 658 02 82
Chief Financial Officer 
  
Bo Aulin, Senior Vice President, Secretary+46 8 658 03 64
and General Counsel 
  
Emmett Harrison, Vice President, Investor Relations+46 8 658 01 73