February 14, 2018 / 7:31 AM / 10 days ago

BRIEF-Swedish Match Q4 operating profit beats expectations ​

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Swedish Match Ab:

* Q4 - ‍IN LOCAL CURRENCIES, SALES INCREASED BY 6 PERCENT FOR Q4 AND BY 3 PERCENT FOR FULL YEAR​

* SAYS ‍BOARD PROPOSES A DIVIDEND OF 16.60 SEK PER SHARE CONSISTING OF AN INCREASED ORDINARY DIVIDEND OF 9.20 SEK (8.50) AND A SPECIAL DIVIDEND OF 7.40 SEK, FOLLOWING FINAL SALE OF SHARES IN STG​

* Q4 - ‍REPORTED SALES INCREASED BY 2 PERCENT TO 4,044 MSEK (3,957) FOR Q4​

* Q4 - ‍REPORTED OPERATING PROFIT FROM PRODUCT AREAS INCREASED BY 9 PERCENT TO 1,044 MSEK (954) FOR Q4​

* Q4 SNUS AND SNUFF OPERATING MARGIN ‍​43.6 PERCENT VERSUS REUTERS POLL FORECAST 42.0 PERCENT

* REUTERS POLL: Q4 EBIT SEEN AT SEK 996 MILLION, NET SALES SEEN AT SEK 3.97 BILLION

* REUTERS POLL: EBIT FROM PRODUCT AREAS SEEN AT SEK 996 MLN

* SAYS FOR 2018, ON A FULL YEAR BASIS, SWEDISH MATCH EXPECTS THE SCANDINAVIAN SNUS MARKET TO CONTINUE TO GROW AND TO REMAIN HIGHLY COMPETITIVE‍​

* SAYS IN THE US MOIST SNUFF MARKET, WE EXPECT CONTINUED GOOD GROWTH FOR POUCHES. SWEDISH MATCH ALSO EXPECTS THE US SNUS/NICOTINE POUCH MARKET TO GROW

* SAYS FOR US CHEWING TOBACCO WE EXPECT CONTINUED MARKET DECLINES, WHILE FOR CHEW BAGS IN EUROPE WE EXPECT CONTINUED MARKET GROWTH.

* SAYS THE OPERATING LOSS FOR SNUS AND NICOTINE POUCHES OUTSIDE SCANDINAVIA IS EXPECTED TO BE NOTICEABLY LOWER IN 2018 THAN IN 2017.

* SAYS FOR THE FULL YEAR, SWEDISH MATCH EXPECTS CONTINUED GROWTH IN THE US CIGAR MARKET Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting By Olof Swahnberg)

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