Swedish Match’s volume shipments of snus in Scandinavia during the 12 months to the end of December, at 241.3 million cans, were increased by two percent on those of the year to the end of December 2015, 236.3 million cans.
But despite the volume increase, SM’s share of Sweden’s snus market fell by 1.6 percentage points, from 69.0 percent during 2015 to 67.4 percent during 2016. And it’s share of Norway’s snus market fell by 3.1 percentage points to 53.5 percent.
Meanwhile, SM’s volume shipments of moist snuff on the US market during 2016, at 131.4 million cans was down by one percent on that of 2015, 132.1 million cans.
Also in the US, the company’s volume shipments of cigars in 2016, at 1,472 million, was increased by 17 percent on that of 2015, 1,256 million.
But, during the same period, volume shipments of chewing tobacco, excluding contract manufacturing volumes, at 6,709,000 pounds, was down by nine percent from 7,390,000 lb.
SM’s worldwide shipments of matches during 2016, at 72.0 billion sticks, were down by two percent on those of 2015, 73.1 billion sticks.
During the same period, worldwide shipments of lighters fell by one percent from 402.9 million to 399.2 million.
In announcing its results on Friday, SM said that its sales had increased by six percent to SEK3,957 million during the fourth quarter and by seven percent to SEK15,551 million during the full year. In local currencies, sales had increased by three percent during the fourth quarter and by seven percent during the full year.
Basic earnings per share amounted to SEK3.61 during the fourth quarter and to SEK27.38 during the full year.
“I am pleased to report a year of solid growth, with higher sales in all of our product areas and strong operating profit growth,” said CEO Lars Dahlgren.
“We expanded our efforts in the smokeless arena and continued on the path toward our vision of a world without cigarettes.
“We delivered very strong cash returns to our shareholders, with both our regular dividend and two payments of special dividends stemming from our sell-downs of shareholdings in Scandinavian Tobacco Group.
“This past year we have been faced with notable regulatory changes, impacting both 2016 and future periods. We remain committed to being a vocal proponent of the benefits of harm reduction in the tobacco industry and will face these regulatory changes from a position of strength.”