As stated in a press release today from the European Commission, the European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, has presented a report to the European Commission. Among other things the report states that Swedish Match has filed a complaint about receiving a proposal to influence the outcome of the ongoing review by the European Commission of the Tobacco Products Directive, in exchange for financial compensation. The Tobacco Products Directive regulates the sales ban on Swedish snus within the EU, to which Sweden has an exemption.
Swedish Match has the following comments to the press release and to the OLAF investigation which has now been concluded:
– Swedish Match takes this incident very seriously. The incident was promptly reported to the European Commission, and the report from the Anti-Fraud Office has confirmed that the notification was warranted and that a thorough investigation has been conducted.
– Swedish Match expects that the European Commission in the future will ensure a transparent and legally fair process for the proposal of a new Tobacco Products Directive which is expected during the autumn.
– Swedish Match expects that proven scientific facts regarding snus, including the well documented significantly lower health risks compared to cigarettes which are allowed in the EU, are considered in a continued fair legal process for the proposal of a new Tobacco Products Directive.
For further media comment:
Swedish Match develops, manufactures, and sells market-leading brands in the product areas Snus and snuff, Other tobacco products (US mass market cigars and chewing tobacco), and Lights (matches and lighters).Well known brands include General snus, Longhorn moist snuff, Red Man chewing tobacco, White Owl cigars, Cricket lighters, and Fiat Lux matches. The Group sells products across the globe, with production units in six countries. The Group?s global operations generated sales of 12,205 MSEK for the twelve month period ending June 30, 2012. The Swedish Match share is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm (SWMA).