Interim report 1 January - 30 September 2003
Sardus third-quarter report - Continued favorable profit trend - Detailed dividend policy During the first nine months of the year, Sardus, which is Sweden's leading producer of sandwich fillings and light meals, achieved sales of SEK 1,264 M (1,215), an increase of 4 percent compared with the year-earlier period. Pre-tax profit amounted to SEK 70 M. Profit for the corresponding period in 2002 included capital gains of SEK 3 M. Excluding capital gains, profit increased by 1 percent. Earnings per share amounted to SEK 4.78 (4.84).
The trend during the first nine months of 2003 was stable. Despite increased competition on price, the Company succeeded in maintaining the favorable profit level of 2002. Sales increased in the Charkdelikatesser, 3-Stjernet (Denmark) and Falbyggdens Ost business units. The continued attractive product mix and stable cost trend contributed to favorable earnings. The acquisition of Gourmet Service was concluded in early October 2003, that is, following the close of the period. The company's products include sandwich salads, sauces, salad dressings, and salmon and shellfish pâtés. It has annual sales of slightly more than SEK 80 M and employs 24. The acquisition is part of Sardus' broadening strategy, entailing the expansion of operations to include light meals. Sardus has a high yield. In conjunction with its listing in 1997, the following dividend policy was established: "more than 50 percent of profit after standard tax shall be distributed as dividends." Since the stock-market launch in 1997, approximately 70 percent of profits after full tax and goodwill amortization have been distributed to shareholders. It is the Board's intention to continue to pay dividends at this level. "This entails a detailed stipulation of our dividend policy and improves the possibility for Sardus shares to continue to provide a high direct yield in the future," says Sardus President, Ragnar Bringert. Helsingborg, October 20, 2003 AB SARDUS (publ.) Ragnar Bringert For further information, contact: Ragnar Bringert, President, +46 70-593 62 73 or +46 42-37 02 50