Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) reported net sales of DKK8.23 billion ($1.21 billion) in 2021, up 4.5 percent organically from the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) before special items grew by 18.4 percent organically to DKK2.23 billion, with free cash flow before acquisitions stable at DKK1.39 billion.
Net sales for the fourth quarter were DKK2.01 billion, reflecting 1.8 percent organic growth over the comparable quarter in 2020. EBITDA before special items was DKK474 million, up from DKK397 million in the previous year’s quarter.
The fourth-quarter results were driven by continued strong demand for handmade cigars in the U.S., price increases across most product categories and continued cost efficiencies. The integration of Agio Cigars approaches completion, according to STG.
“We deliver particularly strong financial results for 2021 based on a strong demand for handmade cigars in the U.S., Agio synergies and a favorable market mix,” said STG CEO Niels Frederiksen in a statement. “During the year, we showed good progress on our strategy ‘Rolling Toward 2025’ across the business and edged closer to our vision of becoming the undisputed global leader in cigars.”
STG expects organic EBITDA growth in 2022 to be in the range of 0 percent to 6 percent.
At the annual general meeting on March 31, 2022, the board of directors will propose an increase in the ordinary dividend of 15 percent to DKK7.50 per share. The board has also approved a new share buyback program with a value of up to DKK700 million to adjust the capital structure and meet obligations relating to the group’s share-based incentive program.