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April 4, 2022

Smurfit Kappa to withdraw from Russia over Ukraine invasion

The company will continue to pay its Russian employees until the exit is completed.

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the GlobalData Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

Irish corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa has announced its decision to exit the Russian market as the country’s invasion of Ukraine continues.

The company reportedly operates three plants in and around St Petersburg.

Smurfit Kappa said that it will implement the exit ‘in an orderly manner’ and continue to pay its employees and comply with legal obligations during the process.

The company is understood to have around 800 employees in Russia.

In 2017, Smurfit Kappa acquired Moscow-based packaging firm Soyuz. reported that the acquisition made the company one of Russia’s largest corrugated producers.

The company’s business in the country represents less than 1% of its expected sales.

In a statement, Smurfit Kappa said: “Smurfit Kappa stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and everyone impacted by the totally unjustified attack on Ukraine and its people.

“The group is providing, and will continue to provide, substantial humanitarian support for the Ukrainian people.

“We are also assisting the families of SKG employees and contractors from Ukraine, as well as providing products and services to support the relief effort together with financial assistance to a number of aid agencies.”

Prior to this announcement, Smurfit Kappa suspended all imports and exports to and from Russia, as well as any short and long-term investments in the country.

In addition, the company is working with the Red Cross charity to fund their work in the region.

Based in Dublin, Smurfit Kappa provides paper-based packaging for more than 30 countries.

The company reported €10.1bn ($11.5bn) in revenue for the fiscal year 2021 (FY21).

Last month, paper and packaging company Mondi said that it was considering all options for the group’s interests regarding Russia, including legal separation in the country.

In a similar move, multinational packaging firm Amcor has also revealed plans to scale down its operations in Russia in response to the conflict.

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