Interim Report January - March 2001

- Sales increased 28 percent to 3,069 MSEK (2,394)
- Operating income increased 18 percent to 491 MSEK (415)
- Profit before tax was 445 MSEK (400)
- EPS increased to 0.80 (0.59), an increase of 36 percent
- EBITDA increased to 647 MSEK (536)
- Total shares outstanding as of March 31, 2001 amounted to 362.9 million compared with 375.1 million as of December, 2000

Swedish Match sales increased by 28 percent, of which acquisitions accounted for 15 percentage points, in the first quarter versus the same period last year. The higher dollar rate has effected sales with 4 percentage points. Organic sales growth amounted to 9 percent. All product areas exhibited sales gains. Cigars, pipe tobacco, lighters, and snuff show the largest increases.

Operating income grew by 18 percent to 491 MSEK, with gains primarily from cigars, matches, pipe tobacco, and lighters. Snuff margins have been impacted by increased costs due to product development and planned launches of new products during the year.

Net financial expenses increased to -46 MSEK (-15) mainly due to the redemption program, repurchase of shares, and the acquisitions of General Cigar and pipe tobacco business in South Africa.

Earnings per share during the first quarter increased to 0.80 SEK (0.59).

An increased annual dividend is proposed, to 1.35 SEK per share (1.22). In addition a prolonging of the mandate to repurchase up to 10 percent of the total amount of outstanding shares is proposed. The share capital is proposed to be reduced through cancellation of 15 million repurchased shares.

About Us

Swedish Match develops, manufactures, and sells quality products with market-leading brands. Swedish Match’s product areas are Snus and moist snuff, Other tobacco products (cigars and chewing tobacco), Lights (matches, lighters, and complementary products), and Other operations. Production is located in six countries, with sales concentrated in Scandinavia and the US. The Swedish Match share is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (SWMA). Swedish Match’s vision is a world without cigarettes. Some of its well-known brands include: General, Longhorn, White Owl, Red Man, Fiat Lux, and Cricket.

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