L’Oréal temporarily closes stores in Russia and condemns the war

he logo of French cosmetics group L’Oreal in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, February 7, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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PARIS, March 8 (Reuters) – Cosmetics giant L’Oreal is temporarily closing its stores in Russia and suspending investment in the country, it said on Tuesday, joining dozens of Western companies that are suspending operations following a the invasion of Ukraine.

“We strongly condemn the Russian invasion and the war in Ukraine, which cause so much suffering to the Ukrainian people,” the French company said in a statement.

L’Oreal’s Russian business, which includes a production plant, accounts for a low single-digit percentage of annual sales, according to the company.

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Companies operating in Russia have faced political pressure to end their operations in the country, which has been hit by sweeping sanctions from the United States, Britain and the European Union.

L’Oréal said it was fully aligned with the position of the French authorities and the European Union.

The world’s biggest cosmetics company, owner of the Lancome and Maybelline brands, said it was considering additional measures while seeking to take care of its 2,200 employees in Russia.

L’Oréal has 326 Ukrainian employees, the majority of whom remain in their country in increasingly unbearable conditions according to the company.

“We are worried for them and fear for their safety,” L’Oreal said, noting that it was providing financial and psychological support.

The company is also donating 5 million euros ($5.4 million) to international and regional aid organizations as well as United Nations agencies providing humanitarian aid.

Major international luxury companies LVMH (LVMH.PA), Hermes, Kering (PRTP.PA) and Chanel announced plans to temporarily close operations in Russia last week.

French food multinational Danone (DANO.PA) said over the weekend it was suspending investment in the country. Read more

($1 = 0.9194 euros)

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Reporting by Mimosa Spencer; Editing by GV De Clercq, David Goodman and David Clarke

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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