Bottler Coca-Cola HBC mulls other options for Russian business
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Hundreds of Western companies have either withdrawn or suspended operations in Russia since the country invaded Ukraine in February while Western governments have imposed sanctions.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The company, whose annual outlook remains withdrawn, said it has stopped placing orders for concentrate in Russia and ceased investments in the market.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.
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