Market for Lights
Swedish Match’s matches and lighters are sold across the globe and the most important markets are in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Swedish Match offers a wide range of lighter products which include Cricket premium disposable lighters as well as products for household and other uses. With its flexible and efficient manufacturing process, Swedish Match is able to quickly manufacture and deliver both mainstream and special order varieties to satisfy customer requirements for safety, quality, reliability, design, and innovation. Match brands tend to be local, and iconic in their own countries. The Company’s match assortment includes products for a wide variety of uses, in sizes and formats that fit every fire lighting need. Swedish Match also sells complementary products, mainly under the Fiat Lux brand in Brazil.
With its portfolio of well-known brands and strong market positions, Swedish Match works for continuous operational excellence in the Lights product segment. The Company is committed to maintaining and improving its already efficient manufacturing operations as well as capitalizing on its market positions. With its high and demanding quality standards, its fast and flexible production, and tight cost controls, Swedish Match is able to provide consumers and customers with the quality products they demand at attractive prices. Swedish Match use its highly committed sustainability efforts as a competitive tool in its marketing to both consumers and customers. Additionally, in optimizing its asset base Swedish Match will work to dispose of forestry assets which are not required for its raw material supply.
The match market is in a long term state of decline in most countries where Swedish Match has a presence. The largest Swedish Match markets are in Europe, Brazil, and parts of Africa.
- During the year, Swedish Match maintained significant or leading market positions in its largest markets for matches, including Sweden (Solstickan), Norway (Nitedals), Brazil (Fiat Lux) and Australia (Redheads).
- Sales for matches grew as higher shipment volumes were complemented with improved pricing, favorable mix effects and the acquisition of Fire-Up International B.V. Operating profit increased compared to the prior year, also when adjusting for currencies and positive one-time gains in both 2021 and 2020, despite significantly higher costs for raw materials and freight.
- During 2021, Swedish Match continued its cost and efficiency efforts at the factory level and successfully divested part of the forestry assets not needed in operations.
- In February 2021, Swedish Match acquired Fire-Up International B.V., a Dutch company, which produces ecological firelighters (firestarters to light stoves, fireplaces, barbecues, etc.) and trades in a variety of fire-related products mainly in Europe.
Market volumes are declining in most developed markets, while growing in many developing countries. The largest Swedish Match markets are located in Asia, Europe and in the Americas. The lighter business is characterized by variability in volumes and mix, depending on the timing and type of products delivered, geography, and currency fluctuations.
- Cricket lighters are well known for their quality, unique design and a number of safety features, such as a fixed flame technology, child safety mechanisms, and fire-resistant lighter bodies.
- Sales for lighters increased compared to the prior year, mainly due to higher volumes and favorable product mix. Operating profit for lighters also grew as higher sales and favorable product mix were only partially offset by higher raw material pricing (primarily nylon).
Swedish Match offers a portfolio of complementary products mainly on the Brazilian market, including disposable razors, batteries and light bulbs under the Fiat Lux brand. Reported sales for complementary products declined compared to the prior year, mainly due to currency translation effects as well as a reduced product range.
Match competition varies widely between markets. Lighter competitors include Bic, Tokai, Flamagas, and a number of asian manufacturers.
|Key data||2021||2020||Change, %|
|Operating profit, MSEK||297||222||34|
|Operating margin, %||22.2||19.3|
|Matches, billion sticks||58.5||57.3||2|
|Lighters, million units||325.2||293.4||11|