With each passing day, another round of major U.S. corporations voices their outrage over the invasion of Ukraine by announcing the suspension or termination of business operations in Russia.
However, not every major company is pulling the plug on its Russia-based endeavors. According to data compiled by the Yale School of Management, a rather considerable line-up of corporate titans are maintaining a business-as-usual approach to Russia, although sometimes not by their own choosing.
For your consideration, here are 10 U.S. companies still active in Russia.
Citigroup Inc C: This financial institution was trying to extract itself from Russia long before the Ukraine invasion, but it is trapped in a quagmire — efforts to sell its Russian consumer business is in limbo because the sole potential buyer, the Russian state bank VTB Bank, has been sanctioned by the U.S. government. Last week, Citigroup CFO Mark Mason said the bank might need to write off nearly approximately $9.8 billion from its Russian exposure.
Coca-Cola Co KO: Calls for a social media boycott against the Atlanta-headquartered beverage company have been percolating for days, thanks to Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company AG, the Swiss-based firm distributing Coca-Cola products in Russia. That company has not only shown no signs of suspending operations, but it also went so far as to tell the Russian news agency Tass: “All operational, production, and logistics facilities of Coca-Cola in Russia are working. We are fully responsible to partners, society, and thousands of our employees in Russia. Our top priority is the safety of our employees.”
Estée Lauder Companies Inc EL: This New York City-headquartered hair and skincare provider generates 2.7% of its revenue, or approximately $500 million, from sales in Russia. The company issued a statement on March 4 insisting it was “committed to supporting those impacted by the invasion of Ukraine,” but also added that its “priority is the safety and well-being of all ELC employees, and we are continuously monitoring the situation and evaluating all possible measures to support them.”
Herbalife Nutrition Ltd HLF: This multi-level marketing corporation gets 3% of its revenue, or approximately $150 million, from sales in Russia. On Feb. 23, the day before Ukraine was invaded, Herbalife President John DeSimone answered an earnings call question about the region and stated while there was a risk in Russia, “the biggest risk is probably in the Ukraine, and it's not a material country to us.” The company has yet to make any further public comment on Russia.
Hilton Hotels Corporation HLT: Among the U.S. lodging companies, Hilton has the most locations in Russia with 29 hotels; its sole Ukrainian operation is a hotel in the capital city of Kyiv. The Russian locations are still operational and the company has yet to make any public comment regarding the crisis in the region.
Kimberly-Clark Corp KMB: The personal care product provider has been part of the Russian market since 1996 and generates 3% of its revenue, or $600 million, from sales in that country. In January 2019, it announced an $80 million to expand its Russian flagship factory in Stupino, a town 61.5 miles south of Moscow. As with most of the companies on this list, Kimberly-Clark has not offered any public comment regarding Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
McDonald’s Corp MCD: The fast-food chain gets 9% of its revenue from the Russia/Ukraine markets, or roughly 2.3% billion. The majority of its Russian locations are corporate-owned, but the company has resisted growing demands from consumers and elected officials to shut down its Russian eateries.
Papa John’s International Inc. PZZA: The Atlanta-headquartered chain has 185 restaurants in Russia and no plans to close them. On the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Feb. 24, the day of the invasion, President and CEO Robert Lynch stated that any change to “our restaurants in Russia it will depend on how much disruption there is there and the impact of that business.” Lynch added the company had no restaurants in Ukraine.
PepsiCo Inc. PEP: Not unlike its perennial rival Coca-Cola, PepsiCo is also heavily invested in Russia, with 4.4% of its revenue, or $3.4 billion, coming from that market. The Purchase, New York-based company is among the firms being pressured by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to rethink their Russian business. DiNapoli controls the state’s $280 billion pension funds, which includes PepsiCo shares, and he bluntly stated it would be in the company’s best interests to “address various investment risks associated with the Russian market.”
Starbucks Corporation SBUX: The Seattle-headquartered coffeehouse chain has 130 licensed locations in Russia; it has no presence in Ukraine. While CEO Kevin Johnson is not forcing its Russian partners to close, he informed his workforce via an internal memo that the company “will donate any royalties we receive from our business operations in Russia to humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine.”
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