Inchcape to drop Russian operations completely in wake of Ukraine invasion

  • Inchcape offloaded St Petersburg dealerships last year to focus on distribution
  • Now it’s divesting itself of its Russian operations completely because of invasion of Ukraine
  • It tells of sadness at conflict and ‘enormous humanitarian impact’
  • Donation to be made to UNHCR refugee appeal
  • Staff’s fundraising efforts will also be matched

Time 9:27 am, March 15, 2022

Inchcape is pulling out of Russia completely following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning (Mar 15), the multinational automotive distribution and retail outfit said it was ‘deeply saddened by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the enormous humanitarian impact on all those affected. We share the hopes of the world for a peaceful resolution’.

It added: ‘In light of the current circumstances, we have concluded that the group’s ownership of its business interests in Russia is no longer tenable.

‘Therefore, working in conjunction with our OEM partners, we have initiated a process to transition our Russian business.’

Last year, it sold its Toyota and Audi dealerships in St Petersburg for £70m as it looked to focus on distribution.

What was left contributed £750m of revenue last year, amounting to about 10 per cent of the group’s sales.

Over the past five years, it generated some five per cent of the group’s operating profit, while before the pandemic it was less than three per cent.

In today’s statement, it said it would be offloading the rest of its business interests ‘in full compliance with international and local regulations and with the aim of safeguarding the continuing employment of our colleagues’.

Inchcape added that it was helping with humanitarian efforts to take refugees from the borders to safe havens in other countries where it operates.

It has pledged an unspecified amount to UNHCR’s refugee appeal, and said it would also match its staff’s fundraising efforts. Car Dealer asked Inchcape how much it was donating, but it wouldn’t be drawn on the figure.

‘Inchcape is a globally diverse business, operating in over 40 markets, and the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues around the world is our foremost priority,’ it added.

Last month, it announced a massive upswing in pre-tax profit last year to £296m.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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