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Interim Report, January – March 2002

INTERIM REPORT, JANUARY – MARCH 2002 · OPERATING PROFIT* WAS SKr 23 MILLION (32) · RESTRUCTURING AND COST-REDUCTION MEASURES MITIGATE EFFECTS OF WEAK MARKET CONDITIONS · PROFIT AFTER NET FINANCIAL ITEMS* AMOUNTED TO SKr 6 (15) · CASH FLOW** WAS SKr 55 (9) · CONDITIONS IN BOARD PROPOSALS FOR RIGHTS ISSUE AND CONVERTIBLE LOAN STOCK ESTABLISHED Q1 Q4 Q3 Q2 Q1 2002 2001 2001 2001 2001 Net turnover, SKr million 592 596 548 578 673 Operating profit/loss, 23 2 -5 11 32 SKr million* Profit/loss after net 6 -22 -22 -6 15 financial items, SKr million* Cash flow after investment 55 42 -19 -63 9 activities, SKr million** * Excluding items affecting comparability of Skr 6 million relating to capital gain on sale of property (Q1/2002) and cost items of Skr 5 million relating to the cancelled acquisition of Stronghold Group (Q1/2001) ** Excluding proceeds of property sales of SKr 51 million (Q1 2002) MARKET AND SALES The persistent weakness of the economy continued to have a moderating effect on envelope consumption at the start of 2002. In relation to the same period last year, the envelope market in Europe is judged to have declined in volume by 5-10 per cent during the first quarter of 2002, with variations depending on market area. The economic slowdown that characterised most of 2001 had acquired only limited momentum by the end of the first quarter last year. Recession, excess capacity and the fragmented structure of the most of our major markets caused stiffer competition for available volumes, which in turn put prices under greater pressure. Bong has maintained its position on the Nordic markets, which account for some 41 per cent of the Group’s turnover. On the highly competitive English market, the Group experienced relatively healthy growth in volume and slightly raised its market share. Sales on the English market account for some 23 per cent of the Group’s turnover. In Germany, which accounts for about 19 per cent of the Group’s turnover, the market is estimated to have contracted sharply in the first quarter of 2002 in relation to the same period last year. The Group’s position on the German market weakened in 2001 as a result of restructuring problems, but sales moved broadly in line with the market during the beginning of 2002. The trend towards increased internationalisation among our customers is becoming more marked. One consequence of this is that large and internationally expanding customers are increasingly inclined to adopt a pan-European approach when it comes to buying envelopes. This applies as much to wholesalers as it does to end-users from a wide variety of different industries. The Bong Group, by virtue of its size, structure and market coverage, is well placed to benefit from this trend. TURNOVER AND RESULT The Group’s turnover declined by 12 per cent on the same period last year to SKr 592 million (673). Two percentage points of this decline are attributable to the divested Binder Division, some 3 percentage points to lower prices and changes in product mix, and just under 10 points to lower volumes. Currency fluctuations boosted turnover by just over 3 percentage points. In relation to the immediately preceding quarter, however, turnover remained broadly unchanged. The Group’s operating profit (excluding items of SKr 6 million affecting comparability) amounted to SKr 23 million (32), which was an improvement of SKr 21 million on the fourth quarter, despite continued weak market conditions. The operating margin was 3.8 for the period under review, which is 2 percentage points higher than for 2001 as a whole. Completed restructuring measures, productivity improvements, and the effects of last autumn’s cost-reduction and capacity adjustment programme have thus to some extent offset the weak volume growth. The price of fine paper, the Group’s most important input item, was stable during the period, running at a slightly lower level than the average for 2001. Items of SKr 6 million affecting comparability relate to a capital gain before tax on the sale of the Group’s industrial property in Norway. The profit after net financial items (excluding items affecting comparability) amounted to SKr 6 million (15). This represents an increase of SKr 28 million on the last quarter of 2001. Earnings per share after tax and full dilution amounted to SKr 0.70 (1.21) for the period. As already announced, in January 2002 the Group sold its interest in Eurotrade Business Products, the associate company through which Bong marketed its TYVEK® range of envelopes. The transaction has only had a marginal effect on the consolidated result. Bong now pentrates the market for these products direct and on own account. LIQUID FUNDS, CASH FLOW AND FINANCING The Group’s closing liquid funds amounted to SKr 83 million (43 at December 31, 2001), excluding agreed but not drawn credit facilities of SKr 191 million (116 at December 31, 2001). The cash flow strengthened further during the first quarter and amounted to SKr 106 million (11) after investment activities (excl. company acquisitions and divestments), of which property sales generated an inflow of SKr 51 million before tax. The tax charge on the property transaction amounted to some SKr 10 million, which will be paid in the form of an annual payment corresponding to 20 per cent of the prior year’s closing liability on account of the transaction. Apart from the proceeds of the property sale, the much strengthened cash flow in relation to the immediately preceding quarter is mainly due to an improved operating result, a controlled level of capital expenditure and the absence of restructuring costs involving cash disbursements. The net debt amounted to SKr 995 million (1,141 at December 31, 2001). following a decline of SKr 146 million during the quarter, of which SKr 37 million was due to currency effects. The net debt-equity ratio declined as a result of the relatively strong cash flow during the period to 1.54 (1.73 at December 31, 2001). At the end of the quarter, equity amounted to SKr 645 million (658 at December 31, 2001). The translation into Swedish kronor of the net asset values of foreign subsidiary companies during the period reduced the consolidated equity by SKr 23 million. The closing equity ratio was 28.6 per cent (28.1 at December 31, 2001). CAPITAL EXPENDITURE Net capital expenditure for the period, excluding the proceeds of property sales of SKr 51 million, and excluding company acquisitions and divestments, amounted to SKr 0 million (24). EMPLOYEES The average number of employees was 1,676 (1,902). SHARE ISSUE As already announced, the Board has decided to carry out a rights issue, subject to the approval of the Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on May 14, 2002. The object of the issue is to strengthen the Group’s capital base and permit further growth and consolidation of the Group’s position as a leading company on the European envelope market. Existing shareholders will be entitled to subscribe to one new share for every two shares they own at an issue price of SKr 35 per share. In the event of full subscription, the proceeds of the issue will amount to some SKr 152 million before issue costs. Further details of the rights issue were provided in the notice convening the EGM, which was published on April 29, 2002. Melker Schörling and his companies, who represent 25.5 per cent of the shares in the company, have undertaken to subscribe for their full entitlement of shares, and to guarantee a further 20 per cent of the issue. INCENTIVE PROGRAMME FOR EMPLOYEES With the objective to stimulate greater interest in the business and its results, boost motivation and increase the sense of identity with the company, the Board has proposed that the Annual General Meeting to be held on May 14, 2002 resolve in favour of issuing convertible loan stock to employees of the Group. It is proposed that the offer should be extended to all established employees in Sweden and to senior executives and key individuals in countries outside Sweden. It is proposed that the loan run until 2007, and amount to a maximum nominal value of SKr 50 million and result in dilution of no more than 4.9 per cent (without taking the above-mentioned rights issue into account). Further details regarding the convertible programme are provided in the Board’s proposal to the AGM, which was released on April 30, 2002. ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES The new recommendations issued by the Swedish Financial Accounting Standards Council that came into effect on January 1, 2002 are applied in this report. The introduction of the new recommendations has not resulted in any changes in the information provided. PROSPECTS There are still no clear signs of a recovery in the international economy, which means that there is reason to expect the market to remain weak for some time to come. In the longer term, however, we are still of the opinion that the market will grow at a sustainable rate of 2-3 per cent a year. The Group’s strong position on the European envelope market, the effects of the now completed structuring measures, and the potential for further consolidation in the European envelope industry, therefore mean that the growth prospects for Bong’s sales and earnings are regarded as bright. Kristianstad, May 14, 2002 Lennart Pihl Managing Director and CEO This interim report has not been subject to specific examination by the company’s auditors Further information may be obtained from Bong Ljungdahl AB’s MD and CEO, Lennart Pihl on +46 44 20 70 00, +46 44 20 70 50 (direct), or +46 70 594 68 66, (mobile) Coming financial reports Interim report January – June 2002: August 16, 2002 Interim report January – September 2002: November 1, 2002 Year-end release 2002: February, 2003 Bong is one of Europe’s envelope company. The Group has annual sales of some SKr 2.4 billion, approximately 1,700 employees and the capacity to manufacture 15 billion envelopes per year at its production facilities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, and Ireland.In recent years, Bong has played an active role in the current process of restructuring in the European envelope industry through the acquisition of several envelope manufacturers. The Group sees worthwhile opportunities for further expansion and development. Bong is a public company and its share is listed on Stockholmsbörsen’s “O” list. ———————————————————— This information was brought to you by Waymaker The following files are available for download: The Full Report The Full Report

Bong manufactures and markets a complete range of envelopes for all type of users.