Report on Operations full year 2000
- Sales increased 22 percent to 11,533 MSEK (9,420)
- Operating income, before items affecting comparability, increased 32 percent to 1,886 MSEK (1,434)
- Income before taxes and before items affecting comparability increased to 1,710 MSEK (1,318)
- EPS increased 23 percent to 2.78 SEK (2.26)
- Total shares outstanding at year end amount to 375.1 million (431.4)
- The Board proposes an increased dividend to SEK 1.35 (1.25)
Swedish Match sales for the year increased by 22 percent, to 11,533 MSEK (9,420) of which acquisitions accounted for 16 percentage points. In the fourth quarter, sales increased to 3,196 MSEK (2,562) an increase of 25 percent, of which acquisitions accounted for 14 percentage points.
The focus in 2000 has been to:
- create growth and strengthen Swedish Match market position through acquisitions
- lay the foundation for increased organic growth through investments in business and product development
- optimize the balance sheet structure through share repurchasing programs.
Sales and operating income increased significantly for the product areas of smokeless products (snuff, snus, and chewing tobacco) and brown tobacco (cigars and pipe tobacco).
During the year Swedish Match has reduced the total number of outstanding shares by 13 percent, to 375.1 million.
Through acquisitions made over the past two years, and through organic growth, the Company has improved its market positions and experienced continued operating income growth in brown tobacco and smokeless products. In lights (lighters and matches), the Company achieved an improved operating margin for lighters. The restructuring program with matches in Europe continues.
The Company's primary drivers for organic growth are its snuff businesses in North America and North Europe. Both markets reached new record numbers regarding both sales and income.
Operating income for year 2000 increased in all product areas except for matches.
Operating income for the year, before items affecting comparability and divested business, increased to 1,886 MSEK (1,434), or 32 percent. EPS increased to 2.78 SEK (2.26) or 23 percent.
For the fourth quarter, operating income before items affecting comparability increased to 500 MSEK (398), or 26 percent.