Smurfit Kappa completes its exit from Russian market amid Ukraine conflict

RUSSIA – Irish corrugated company, Smurfit Kappa has completed its exit from the Russian market, as it has sold its operations in the country to local management.

The announcement comes almost a year after the company decided to leave the country in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Smurfit Kappa subsequently entered an agreement to sell its Russian operations to local management. The deal was conditional on regulatory approval being obtained from the Russian authorities as of 31 December last year.

Smurfit Kappa’s Russian operations form part of its Europe segment and include three plants in and around St Petersburg, as well as a major corrugated packaging plant in Moscow.

In a statement, Smurfit Kappa said: “Following the approval of the Russian authorities and the completion of all necessary administrative processes, the Group’s operations in Russia have now been sold to local management.

“The operations include a bag-in-box facility and two corrugated plants in St Petersburg, and a corrugated plant in Moscow.”

Based in Dublin, Smurfit Kappa provides paper-based packaging for customers in the food and beverage, consumer goods and industrial goods sectors.

The company operates more than 350 production sites across 35 countries, employing more than 47,000 people in total.

Last month, it reported total revenue of €12.81 billion ($13.78bn) for fiscal 2022 (FY22), up by 27% from fiscal 2021 (FY21).

Since announcing its intention to leave the Russian market, the company has been investing in its facilities in other countries to bolster operations.

Early this month, the firm announced plans to invest €27 million (US$28.8m) in a state-of-the-art new waste management and recovery facility at its Nervión paper mill in Iurreta, Spain.

According to Smurfit Kappa, the investment will see the mill adopt a fully circular production process involving the biggest landfill reduction project Smurfit Kappa has undertaken to date.

It will also install a lime kiln and gas treatment system, a fully circular production process with the capacity to produce 120 tonnes of lime a day.

Similarly, in January, the company invested US$6.54 million (€6m) at its Sanguesa paper mill in Spain, which will see the construction and installation of up to 12,000 solar panels on land adjacent to the mill.

Once operational, it is estimated that the panels will generate more than 10 GWh of power annually which will reduce the current external electricity consumption and dependency by 7%.

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