Outlook and risk factors

Swedish Match expects that the trend of increased interest from consumers, industry players and regulators in less harmful alternatives to cigarettes will continue. 

By providing products that are recognized as safer alternatives to cigarettes, our ambition is to create value for both shareholders and the society.

For 2019, on a full year basis, Swedish Match expects the Scandinavian snus market to continue to grow and to remain highly competitive. Swedish Match expects the US snus/nicotine pouch market to grow. In the US moist snuff market, we expect continued growth for pouches. For US chewing tobacco we expect continued market declines. In both Scandinavia and markets outside of Scandinavia, we expect segment growth and increased competitive activity for nicotine pouches (both without tobacco and with small amounts of tobacco).

We will continue to explore growth opportunities for smokeless tobacco and nicotine pouch products outside Scandinavia. In the US, we will broaden the distribution for ZYN, to make this popular nicotine pouch product available to consumers nationally. Further for ZYN, selected additional geographies outside the US will be considered. The decision to further scale up the investment in ZYN production capacity in the US is expected to result in increased capital expenditures in 2019 compared to 2018.

For the full year, Swedish Match anticipates modest growth in the US cigar market. Swedish Match expects the US cigar market to remain highly competitive.

Based on current exchange rates Swedish Match anticipates currency translation to have a positive impact on both sales and operating profit at the Group level for the first quarter of 2019.

The effective corporate tax rate in 2019, excluding associated companies and larger one-time items, is expected to be in the 22 percent to 23 percent range (21.7).

The Company remains committed to returning cash not needed in operations to shareholders.

Source: Swedish Match Interim Report January-December 2018.

Risk factors

Swedish Match faces intense competition in all of its markets and for each of its products and such competition may increase in the future. To remain successful, the Group must develop products and brands that resonate with changing consumer trends, and price and promote its brands competitively. Restrictions on advertising and promotion may, however, make it more difficult to counteract any loss of consumer loyalty. Competitors may develop and promote new products which could be successful, and could thereby have an adverse effect on Swedish Match results of operations.

Swedish Match has substantial sales in the US, with products sourced from local US production facilities and imports from Swedish Match’s production facilities in the Dominican Republic and in Sweden. Swedish Match also has operations in Brazil, Denmark, Norway, the Philippines and EMU member countries. Consequently, changes in import duties as well as in exchange rates of the euro, Norwegian krone, Danish krone, Brazilian real, the Dominican peso and in particular the US dollar may adversely affect the Group’s results of operations, cash flow, financial condition or relative price competitiveness in the future. Such effects may occur both in local currencies and when such local currencies are translated into Swedish currency for purposes of financial reporting.

Regulatory developments and fiscal changes related to tobacco and other nicotine products, corporate income and other taxes, as well as to the marketing, sale and consumption of tobacco products and other products containing nicotine in the countries where the Group is operating may have an adverse effect on Swedish Match results of operations.

For a further description of risk factors affecting Swedish Match, see the Report of the Board of Directors in the published Swedish Match annual report for 2017.