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Bloomberg: Cola-Cola continues bringing profits in Moscow war machine, despite pledges to leave Russian market

Despite earlier pledges to halt operations, Coca-Cola has continued production in Russia and reported a staggering increase in profits in 2023.
8 Embassies, including US and UK, caution against terrorist threat in Moscow
The Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Depositphotos
Bloomberg: Cola-Cola continues bringing profits in Moscow war machine, despite pledges to leave Russian market

Multon Partners, owned by a separate, London-listed company called Coca-Cola HBC, in which the US mother ship owns a 21% stake, continues producing fizzy drinks for Russia despite previous pledges to leave a market of the aggressor state, Bloomberg reports.

In 2022, the Coca-Cola Co. quit Russia in protest after the Kremlin began a war against Ukraine. However, Multon Partners launched a new product called Dobry Cola in Russia, which is sold in cans with a remarkably familiar red tint and the same taste as Coke.

Moreover, the product has become the country’s most popular soda, with 13% of the market. Meanwhile, Russia continues to import Coca-Cola from neighboring countries such as Georgia and Kazakhstan.

Coke is far from alone in making a less-than-complete exit from Russia. PepsiCo Inc. said in 2022 that it had stopped producing and selling drinks there.

But the company soon added a new cola, Evervess, which led to a 12% increase in profits estimated at $2.3 billion, according to reports to local tax authorities. In addition, in 2023, revenues from its baby food and dairy products expanded by 10%.

It’s challenging to leave the Russian market, as the Kremlin demands massive discounts from companies as an exit tax and seizes businesses’ assets as they seek to withdraw. However, enterprises need to make more tough decisions if they don’t intend to help Russia’s war machine that has killed Ukrainians every day since 2014.

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