Swedish Match reaffirmed its forecast for higher snus and moist-snuff volumes in 2013 despite a third-quarter dip in Scandinavian and US markets.
Group operating profit fell 10 per cent to SEK 924 million (EUR 105 million) on slightly higher sales of SEK 3.2 billion due in part to competitive pricing in the US cigar market, marketing expenses, restructuring costs for the Scandinavian snus unit and lost domestic share to lower priced products.
“Competitive activity in the low price segment of the Swedish market remains high and the low price segment grew as a percentage of the total market in late September”, Chief Executive Officer Lars Dahlgren said in an earnings statement for the three-month period ended 30 Sept.
Snus shipment volumes dipped less than one per cent in Scandinavia, where a travel-retail decrease overshadowed gains in Sweden and Norway. The decline was less than the three per cent declined reported in the second quarter. US moist-snuff can equivalent also was down less than 1 per cent. Expansion of the flagship General snus brand in the US continues. The product is available in more than 20,000 stores compared with 10,000 at the end of 2012, Swedish Match said.