Cement maker Holcim to quit Russian market

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The new logo of Swiss cement maker Holcim is seen in a block of concrete during the Holcim Capital Markets Day event in Basel, Switzerland November 18, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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ZURICH, March 29 (Reuters) - Holcim (HOLN.S) is exiting the Russian market, the world's biggest cement-maker said on Tuesday, the latest western company to quit the country following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

"The Holcim Board of Directors has decided to initiate the process to exit the Russian market in line with the company's values to operate in the most responsible manner," the Swiss company said in a statement.

"This decision to divest the Russian business follows Holcim's previous announcement to suspend all capital investments in the market," Holcim added.

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Holcim generates around 1% of its sales and operating profit in Russia, where it employs around 1,500 people. It is now looking for a buyer for the business.

The company initially kept its operations running, saying it was supplying essential building materials.

"The Board expresses its heartfelt concern about the tragic human suffering unfolding across the region and is fully committed to supporting affected people, families and communities," Holcim added.

A raft of western multinationals, including Nestle (NESN.S), Philip Morris (PM.N) and video gamemaker Sony (6758.T) have stepped back from Russia in recent weeks as pressure mounts from consumers in the West to take a stand against the invasion of Ukraine.

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Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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