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Article

28 Apr 2022

Author:
Shoichiro Taguchi, Nikkei Asia

Russia: Japan Tobacco considers selling off Russian operations in response to Russian invasion of Ukraine

[ Japan Tobacco eyes sell-off of Russia business] 28 April 2022

Japan Tobacco on Thursday announced it is considering selling off its Russian operations, JT International Russia, in response to the country's invasion of Ukraine. The company, which controls nearly 40% of the Russian cigarette market, stated it is "continuing to evaluate various options for its Russia business, including a potential transfer of ownership."

Russia accounts for about 15% of Japan Tobacco's operating income. On March 10, the company announced it would cease new investments and marketing activities in Russia, and postponed the launch of a heated tobacco device [...]. It employs approximately 4,000 people and operates four factories there.

President Masamichi Terabatake said at a general shareholders meeting in late March that "unless the business environment improves significantly, we may temporarily suspend production in the Russian market."

[...]

Major cigarette makers began planning their departures from Russia after the country's military invaded Ukraine in late February. U.S. tobacco giant Philip Morris International is among them. [...]

Said Koji Shimayoshi, JTI's executive vice president and deputy CEO: "We are examining how business in Russia should or should not be continued based on what is best for consumers, shareholders, society and employees around the world. Maintaining our brand is also a criterion for decision-making, and we are continuing to engage in dialogue with various stakeholders."

[...]

Part of the following timelines

Ukraine: Global outrage over Russian invasion leads to sanctions, demands for businesses to divest

Ukraine: Global outrage over Russian invasion leads to sanctions, demands for businesses to divest