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A-Brands

L'Oréal, Imperial Brands Suspend Russian Operations

Cosmetics giant L'Oréal is temporarily closing its stores in Russia and suspending investments in the country, joining dozens of Western companies pausing operations over the invasion of Ukraine.

'We strongly condemn the Russian invasion and the war in Ukraine, which is causing so much suffering to the Ukrainian people,' the French company said in a statement.

L'Oréal's Russian business, which includes a production plant, accounts for a low, single-digit percentage of annual sales, according to the company.

Companies operating in Russia have faced political pressure to halt their activities in the country, which has been hit by sweeping sanctions from the United States, Britain and the Europe Union.

L'Oréal said it was fully aligned with the position of French and European Union authorities.

Additional Measures

The world's biggest cosmetics firm, which owns the Lancome and Maybelline brands, said it was considering additional measures while seeking to take care of its 2,200 employees in Russia.

L'Oréal has 326 Ukrainian employees, the majority of whom remain in their country under what the company said were increasingly unbearable conditions.

"We are concerned for them and fear for their safety," L'Oréal said, noting that it was providing financial and psychological support.

The company is also donating €5 million ($5.4 million) to international and regional aid organisations as well as United Nations agencies providing humanitarian aid.

Imperial Brands

Imperial Brands Plc has suspended all operations in Russia, following international sanctions against the country in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the maker of Winston cigarettes and Backwoods cigars said on Wednesday.

The London-listed company said it was halting production at its factory in Volgograd and all sales and marketing activities in the country.

"This decision comes amid a highly challenging environment in Russia as a result of international sanctions and consequential severe disruption," Imperial Brands said.

The British company, which has already suspended its operations in Ukraine, also said it will be supporting its Russian employees, who continue to be paid while operations are paused.

Russia and Ukraine together represented about 2% of the group's net revenue and 0.5% of adjusted operating profit in full year 2021.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest A-Brands news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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