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Western companies still working in Russia, despite promises to leave — Bloomberg

It was noted that most of these companies rebranded instead of leaving the country

NEW YORK, June 18. /TASS/. Dozens of the largest Western companies continue to operate in Russia, despite public promises to stop doing business in the country after the start of a special operation in Ukraine, Bloomberg reported.

The report named Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., Danone, Carlsberg S.A., Benetton Group, and Auchan corporations as examples. It was noted that most of these companies rebranded instead of leaving the country.

For example, US parent company Coca-Cola Co. stopped making products under the Coca-Cola brand after the start of Russia’s special operation. At the same time, its Russian companies are managed by Multon Partners, which is owned by the legal entity Coca-Cola HBC, a UK subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Co., in which it owns a 21% stake. After Coca-Cola supplies were discontinued, Multon decided to sell an equivalent on the Russian market under the Dobry Cola brand. "The profits from selling Coca-Cola in Russia have merely shifted to Coca-Cola HBC, which has taken market share through the success of Dobry," Bloomberg quoted Garrett Nelson, an analyst at CFRA Research.

Other companies adopted similar strategies. For example, instead of a Pepsi-branded drink, PepsiCo Inc. produces its counterpart Evervess and Frustyle (an analog of Mirinda). As a result, Dobry Cola remains the most popular carbonated beverage with a market share of 14%, and PepsiCo Inc.'s sales in Russia "jumped by 12%" compared to last year.

At the same time, according to the agency, a number of corporations decided to continue operating in Russia due to changes in Russian legislation introduced in response to economic sanctions from unfriendly countries. Some companies did not want to sell production facilities at a huge discount and also allegedly faced difficulties in withdrawing money from the country.

It was reported on June 8 that June 14 the Coca-Cola Company, which has left the Russian market, applied in April to the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) to register 8 trademarks in Russia According to Vedomosti, the trademarks fall under classes 32 and 33 of the International Classification of Goods and Services, which cover soft and alcoholic drinks, carbonated water, and so on. The company seeks to register the brands Sprite, Power Ade, Fanta, and others under this categorization

The Coca-Cola Company halted operations in Russia in March 2022, but Coca-Cola beverages imported from other countries are still available in stores.