Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has confirmed that it plans to invest some US$1.5bn in its Russian operations over the next five years.
It was reported that Clyde Tuggle, president of the company's Russia, Ukraine and Belarus unit, had made the investment commitment in an interview on Thursday (4 Oct). When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson at Coke's headquarters in Atlanta clarified that this was a confirmation of a previous investment undertaking made by Coke president and chief operating officer Muhtar Kent during a visit to Russia earlier this year.
Tuggle said that the planned five-year investment was equivalent to what Coca-Cola had invested in its Russian business since it entered the market in the early 1990s. He added that the company was particularly interested in expanding its presence in the Northwest Federal District, particularly in the St Petersburg area.
It has also been reported that Coke bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (CCHBC), in which Coca-Cola owns a 24% share, has opened a third production line at its St Petersburg unit, doubling the plant's annual output to 400m litres.