Siemens, Finnish utility Fortum quit Russia over Ukraine war

German and Finnish firms join the list of mostly Western firms that have halted business over conflict.

Siemens building
Siemens is the latest firm to pull out of Russia over the war in Ukraine [File: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg]

Germany’s Siemens and Finnish utility Fortum will halt all business in Russia due to the war in Ukraine, the latest in a long list of mostly Western firms that have quit the country over the conflict.

Siemens has begun winding down its industrial operations and related activities in Russia, the German engineering and technology firm said on Thursday, after previously suspending new business and deliveries into the country.

Siemens’ decision will see the firm take a hit of 600 million euros ($630.18m) during the second quarter, according to the company.

“We join the international community in condemning the war in Ukraine and are focused on supporting our people and providing humanitarian aid,” Chief Executive Roland Busch said in a statement.

Siemens, which employs 3,000 people in Russia, incurred 600 million euros ($628m) in impairment and other charges mostly recorded at its train-making mobility business “subsequent to sanctions imposed on Russia”, it said.

The business, which makes and maintains high-speed trains in Russia, also suffered a 200 million euro ($209m) downturn in revenue due to sanctions, it said.

Net income halved to 1.21 billion euros ($1.27bn) in the three months to the end of March from 2.39 billion euros a year earlier.

Fortum, which in March announced it would freeze new investments but continue doing business in Russia, said on Thursday it had decided to “pursue a controlled exit” from the country.

“As the preferred path, this decision includes a potential divestment of Fortum’s Russian operations,” the Finnish firm said.

Fortum, which is 51 percent owned by the Finnish state, posted a first-quarter operating loss of 438 million euros ($460m), down from a 1.2 billion euros ($1.25bn) profit a year earlier.

Nearly 1,000 companies, including Apple, Disney, TikTok, McDonald’s and Starbucks, have halted or curtailed operations in Russia since the country invaded Ukraine on February 24, according to data collected by the Yale School of Management.

Source: News Agencies