Swedish Match second-quarter operating profit beats expectations

FILE PHOTO: Staff measure up next blend of the week at a Swedish Match moist powder tobacco "snus" store in Stockholm, Sweden October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Anna Ringstrom/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish Match SWMA.ST posted on Thursday a bigger rise than expected in second-quarter profit and said the roll-out across the United States of its relatively new non-tobacco nicotine pouch product was well underway.

Operating profit at the tobacco group rose to 1.43 billion crowns ($152.9 million) from a year-ago 1.26 billion. Analysts had on average forecast a profit of 1.36 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

“The Snus and moist snuff product segment, and particularly the strong result from ZYN nicotine pouches in the US, drove the improvements in sales and operating profit for the group,” Swedish Match said.

It said it was no longer confident that the U.S. cigar market would grow this year in terms of volume. Its previous outlook for the market segment was for modest volume growth.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Helena Soderpalm