14 Mar 2022 09:17

British American Tobacco leaving Russia

MOSCOW. March 14 (Interfax) - British American Tobacco plc (BAT), one of the world's largest tobacco companies, has decided to pull out of the Russian market.

"Today, we have initiated the process to rapidly transfer our Russian business in full compliance with international and local laws," BAT said in a press release on March 11. Upon completion of this process, "BAT will no longer have a presence in Russia," the company said.

However, BAT said it will continue to pay its 2,500 employees and we will do its utmost to safeguard their future employment.

The company said it has "concluded that BAT's ownership of the business in Russia is no longer sustainable in the current environment."

Due to the decision regarding the Russian business and "in light of the continuing uncertainty related to Ukraine and Russia and the possible indirect impact on the rest of the Group," the company has revised its guidance for full year 2022 constant currency group revenue growth to 2-4%.

Ukraine and Russia accounted for 3% of group revenue and a slightly lower proportion of adjusted profit from operations in 2021, BAT said.

Earlier last week, BAT announced that it had "suspended all planned capital investment into Russia and will focus on our portfolio of locally produced tobacco products - including our heated tobacco products."

BAT, whose brand portfolio includes Dunhill, Kent, Vogue, Rothmans and Lucky Strike, among others, owns a tobacco factory in St. Petersburg. The company also produces tobacco sticks in Russia for its Glo tobacco heating systems.