Swedish Match shareholders approve dividend hike to 2.10 SEK
Major items approved by today’s Annual General Meeting include:
- Dividend will increase from 1.90 SEK/share to 2.10 SEK
- Election of Andrew Cripps and Conny Karlsson to the Board
- Mandate to repurchase up to 10 percent of all shares in the Company prolonged
- 24 Million shares repurchased by the Company are authorized to be withdrawn
- Approval of reduction of the parent company’s legal reserves by 80 MSEK
At the Annual General Meeting of Swedish Match on April 20th, it was resolved in accordance with the proposal of the Board of Directors to pay a dividend per share of 2.10 SEK. The record date for the dividend entitlement was set at 25 April, 2006. The dividend is expected to be distributed on 28 May, 2006, through VPC.
Shareholders have re-elected Bernt Magnusson (Chairman), Tuve Johannesson, Arne Jurbrant, Meg Tivéus, Karsten Slotte, Kersti Strandqvist, and Sven Hindrikes to the Board of Directors, and elected Andrew Cripps and Conny Karlsson as new members to the Board of Directors.
Furthermore, the shareholders approved an authorization for a reduction in the Company’s share capital by 28.8 MSEK through withdrawal of 24,000,000 shares in the Company, along with a corresponding bonus issue which will transfer 28.8 MSEK from nonrestricted shareholders’ equity to share capital, thus restoring share capital to previous levels. The shares in the Company to be withdrawn have been repurchased by the Company in accordance with previous shareholder authorization. The shareholders also approved a reduction of legal reserves of the Parent Company by 80 MSEK. The released funds will be used for share repurchases.
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 723,333 call options to a combined value of 9.5 MSEK, which corresponds to the value of options allocated in accordance with the Company’s options program for 2005.
The meeting further adopted a stock option program for senior officials in the Company for 2006. The total value of the stock options allocated shall not exceed a limit of 27.3 MSEK.
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 a unique company with its range of market-leading brands in the product areas of snuff and chewing tobacco, cigars and pipe tobacco – tobacco’s niche products – as well as matches and lighters. The Group’s global operations generated sales of 13,311MSEK for the twelve month period ending December 31, 2005. Swedish Match shares are listed on Stockholmsbörsen (SWMA).
Swedish Match AB (publ), SE-118 85 Stockholm
Visiting address: Rosenlundsgatan 36, Telephone: + 46 8 658 02 00
Corporate Identity Number: 556015-0756
For further information, please contact:
Sven Hindrikes, President and Chief Executive Officer
Office +46 8 658 02 82, Mobile +46 70 567 41 76
Lars Dahlgren, Chief Financial Officer
Office +46 8 658 04 41, Mobile +46 70 958 04 41
Bo Aulin, Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel
Office +46 8 658 03 64, Mobile +46 70 558 03 64
Emmett Harrison, Vice President, Investor Relations (IR)
Office +46 8 658 01 73, Mobile +46 70 938 01 73
Richard Flaherty, CFO North America Division, US Investor Relations contact
Office +1 804 302 1774, Mobile +1 804 400 1774