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Ukraine designates Bacardi as 'international sponsor of war'

by Dinara Khalilova August 10, 2023 1:45 PM 2 min read
Bottles of Bacardi rum, the key brand of Bacardi Limited, the world's largest private alcohol company, which has not exited Russia despite its military aggression against Ukraine. (Newscast/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's National Corruption Prevention Agency (NACP) added the world's largest private alcohol company Bacardi Limited to the "international sponsors of war" list on Aug. 10.

The Bermudian company continues to do business in Russia during its all-out war against Ukraine.

Following Moscow's full-scale invasion, Bacardi Limited said it would stop exporting to Russia and investing in the market's advertising, but this pledge was later removed from the original statement, reads the report.

The company reportedly kept supplying its products worth millions of dollars to Russia and has been advertising for new employees.  "Thus, Bacardi Limited continues to pay significant taxes to the budget of Russia, support its economy and sponsor aggression against Ukraine," the NACP wrote.

After Feb. 24, 2022, several major international brand owners exited the Russian alcohol market, which has reduced competition and created opportunities for those who remained.

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As the anti-corruption agency put it, the Russian division of the company, Bacardi Rus, "took advantage of the situation," having imported goods worth $169 million in the first year of the full-scale war.

According to the data published by Russia's Federal Tax Service, Bacardi Rus' revenue increased by 8.5% to 32.6 billion rubles (around $33 million) in 2022, while the net profit rose to 4.7 billion, which is 206.5% more than in 2021.

Last year, Bacardi Limited paid more than $12 million in income tax to Russia's state budget, the NACP added.

Bacardi Limited owns over 200 brands and labels, including Grey Goose, Bombay, and Martini, and sells products in more than 170 countries. The company is primarily known for its Bacardi rum, the best-selling rum brand in the world.

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