Coca-Cola bottler evacuates staff as Ukraine production halts

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) has temporarily stopped production at its Kyiv factory and evacuated employees following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The FMCG giant, which generated around 20% of its sales volumes and profits in 2021 from Russia and Ukraine, revealed it has scrapped its forecasts for the current year as a result of the conflict.

This comes as the company saw shares plunge due to its exposure to Russia and Ukraine.

“The safety of our employees is our highest priority,” the company said in a statement. “We remain in constant contact with our people in Ukraine and Russia and are doing everything we can to support them.”

According to the company, production was suspended at the Kyiv site on 24 February as the Russian invasion began.

READ MORE: How are UK grocers supporting Ukraine refugees?

Meanwhile, the group told shareholders that the situation involving the two countries “has clearly developed further and faster than anticipated”, but also said it is “still too early” to quantify the impact of the crisis and the developing reactions of international governments on the company’s operations.

As a result, the FMCG giant said it believes it is therefore no longer prudent to provide financial guidance for the current year.

The company added: “We will update accordingly when we have greater visibility on the impact of the events in the Ukraine and Russia on our business.”

Shares in the company moved 4.1% lower in early trading.

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