Nestle to launch new Ukraine facility in rare war-time investment

A logo is pictured during the 152nd Annual General Meeting of Nestle in Lausanne
A logo is pictured during the 152nd Annual General Meeting of Nestle in Lausanne, Switzerland April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

KYIV, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Nestle (NESN.S) will invest 40 million Swiss francs ($42.88 million) to launch a new production facility in western Ukraine, the company said on Monday.

Nestle is one of very few international companies to announce new investments in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February 2022.

"This is an important move for Nestlé, taken in a very challenging time for the country," Alessandro Zanelli, Nestlé chief executive officer for South Eastern Europe Market, said in a statement.

"We aim to create a food and culinary hub, ensuring incremental jobs and serving the needs of Ukrainians and all European citizens with high quality products."

Russia's invasion has wrecked Ukraine's economy, which is projected to shrink by 35% this year, according to International Monetary Fund estimates. In recent weeks power blackouts have spread throughout the country as Russia intensified attacks on Ukrainian power facilities.

Nestle, which already has about 5,800 staff in Ukraine, is planning to add 1,500 new jobs at the new production facility in Smolyhiv in the Volyn region.

The new factory is intended to help boost cold sauces, seasonings, soups and instant food production, supplying both the domestic market and markets in Europe.

Reporting by Olena Harmash, Edioting by Timothy Heritage

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