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Bottler Coca-Cola HBC mulls other options for Russian business

12 May 2022 - 11:41 By Amna Karimi
The bottler, which counted Russia as one of its biggest markets, said it was still in the process of implementing the decision by Coca-Cola.
The bottler, which counted Russia as one of its biggest markets, said it was still in the process of implementing the decision by Coca-Cola.
Image: REUTERS/JACKY NAEGELEN/ File photo

Soft drinks bottler Coca-Cola HBC AG said on Thursday it will evaluate all options for its Russian operations and have a smaller presence in the country, focusing on local brands, after US beverage giant Coca-Cola suspended operations there.

The bottler, which counted Russia as one of its biggest markets, said it was still in the process of implementing the decision by Coca-Cola.

Hundreds of Western companies have either withdrawn or suspended operations in Russia since the country invaded Ukraine in February while Western governments have imposed sanctions.

HBC is one of Coca-Cola's many bottlers worldwide and holds local Coca-Cola franchises to bottle and sell drinks produced by the beverage giant. Coca-Cola holds a roughly 21% stake in HBC.

The company, whose annual outlook remains withdrawn, said it has stopped placing orders for concentrate in Russia and ceased investments in the market.

The London-listed company said organic revenue in the first quarter rose 25.9%, excluding Russia and Ukraine.

The Switzerland-headquartered company said it increased prices in the quarter to help manage rising input cost inflation, and that has not negatively affected volumes.

Reuters 

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