Bottler Coca-Cola HBC mulls other options for Russian business

 Bottler Coca-Cola HBC mulls other options for Russian business


The Coca-Cola logo was unveiled during an event in Paris, France, March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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May 12 (Reuters) – Soft drink bottler Coca -Cola HBC AG (CCH.L) said on Thursday it would examine all options for Russian operations and have a small presence in the country, citing local brands, after U.S. beverage giant Coca -Cola suspended operations there.

The bottler, which counts Russia as one of the largest markets, said it is still in the process of implementing Coca-Cola’s (KO.N) decision.

Hundreds of Western companies have withdrawn or suspended operations in Russia since the country invaded Ukraine in February as Western governments imposed sanctions.

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HBC is one of the many Coca-Cola bottlers around the world and holds local Coca-Cola franchises to bottle and sell beverages made by the beverage giant. Coca-Cola has a nearly 21% stake in HBC.

The company, whose annual outlook remains withdrawn, said it had stopped placing orders for concentrating in Russia and stopped investing in the market.

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

The Swiss-headquartered company says it raised quarterly prices to help manage rising input cost inflation, and that hasn’t negatively affected volumes.

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Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bengaluru; Edited by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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