(Adds Metro, HeidelbergCement)
Feb 22 (Reuters) - International companies with exposure to Russia are preparing for the West to impose fresh sanctions on the country following an escalation in the crisis over Ukraine.
Below are comments from companies:
METRO, GERMAN RETAILER WITH RUSSIAN OPERATIONS
“We are following the current developments in the conflict over Ukraine with concern. We continue to rely on diplomatic efforts from all sides to avert further escalation. Our responsibility as a company in Russia lies primarily with our approximately 10,000 employees and 2.5 million customers,” Metro spokesman Gerd Koslowski, adding that the same concerns applied for Metro in Ukraine.
HEIDELBERGCEMENT, GERMAN FIRM WITH THREE PLANTS IN RUSSIA
“We do not expect any major impact on our Russian business should the conflict escalate further. All of our three Russian cement plants supply their respective local/regional markets and do not export outside Russia,” Heidelberg spokesman Christoph Beumelburg said, adding the company had sold its Ukraine operations in 2019.
NOKIAN TYRES, WHICH HAS A PLANT AND TYRE WAREHOUSE IN RUSSIA
“We prepare for different scenarios as part of our normal risk management work, and now we have intensified the work due to the current geopolitical situation, including availability planning,” Nokian spokeswoman Tarja Pennanen told Reuters.
She said Nokian was prepared to transfer certain product groups between factories if the situation required.
RENAULT, WHICH HAS A JOINT VENTURE AVTOVAZ IN RUSSIA
Russian carmaker Avtovaz, controlled by France’s Renault, is looking for alternative supplies of electronic chips in case U.S. sanctions curb deliveries, Avtovaz Chief Executive Nicolas Maure said, without saying how Avtovaz secures chips for its car plants in Russia.
“We are following the ongoing diplomatic discussions very carefully. At this stage, it is premature to estimate what could be the sanctions,” Renault spokesperson Rie Yamane told Reuters.
DANONE, RUSSIA ACCOUNTS FOR 6% OF THE FRENCH FIRM’S SALES
“Danone is monitoring the situation. Our local teams are monitoring the situation very closely with a view to ensure the security of employees,” a Danone spokesperson said.
Danone, the world’s largest yoghurt company, controls Russian dairy brand Prostokvashino. It mainly produces dairy products in Russia.
COCA-COLA HBC, LONDON-LISTED BOTTLER WITH RUSSIAN OPERATIONS
“We have contingencies in place for all scenarios, including alternative sourcing, so that we can act swiftly to whatever happens,” Zoran Bogdanovic, the chief executive of Coca-Cola HBC , told Reuters.
He said the soft drinks company, which operates in 29 European and African countries and counts Russia and Nigeria as its two biggest markets, had learned lessons from its experience during the 2014 Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
“We ensure that we have the right level of stocks in our markets to avoid disruptions,” the CEO said.
NESTE, FINNISH REFINER AND BUYER OF RUSSIAN OIL
“If sanctions are aimed at Russian crude oil and oil products, it will have an impact on the oil market globally. It is very difficult to define those impacts at this stage. If there were no Russian oil available, Neste would buy its crude oil in other markets,” Sami Oja, interim leader of the oil products business at Neste, told Reuters.
The company relies on Russia for two thirds of its oil needs.
“A significant part of Neste’s crude oil purchases are made on so-called spot markets, meaning one load at a time, and therefore we are able to react flexibly to changes in the markets in our purchases if necessary,” he said.
“We are following the situation and we prepare for possible impacts with different risk management measures,” he said.
Reporting by Reuters correspondents; Compiled by Edmund Blair; Editing by Carmel Crimmins and Gareth Jones
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.