5 May 2022 09:12

Coca-Cola head doesn't rule out exiting Russian market

MOSCOW. May 5 (Interfax) - The Coca-Cola Co. , the world's largest soft drink producer, might leave the Russian market, the U.S. company's CEO, James Quincey said.

Coca-Cola might find that its business in Russia could "disappear completely" if the conflict in Ukraine drags on, Quincey was reported as saying by the Wall Street Journal at the paper's CEO Council Summit.

The company said in March that it had suspended shipments of ingredients for its beverages for the Russian market.

Coca-Cola has faced criticism for not suspending sales in Russia, but Quincey questioned whether the actions of companies such as Coca-Cola can exert any pressure on the authorities.

Coca-Cola forecast earlier that the suspension of its business in Russia would shave 1-2% off the company's revenue and operating profit for 2022.

Coca-Cola bottler Coca-Cola HBC operates in Russia. It has 10 plants that produce soft drinks and juices in Moscow and Moscow Region (two plants), St. Petersburg, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Rostov Region, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk and Vladivostok.

Coca-Cola increased sales in Russia by 18.3% to 373.3 million cases in 2021. Each case is about 5.7 liters, so sales in Russia totaled about 2.1 billion liters.