Company Commentary on the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Company Commentary on the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Over the last week, we’ve been closely monitoring company responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In this article, we’ve summarized some examples of corporate responses and executive commentary relating to the conflict. Based on our analysis, we’ve grouped the company commentary into 5 categories:

Condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and support for employees based in Russia / Ukraine

  • These have generally been statements made at the beginning of earnings calls.  Examples shown below often reflect a personal view from the executive.

Material impacts to business operations and / or financial results

  • These are often Q&A responses to address level of materiality, acknowledgement of risk to the business, or specific impacts.

Suspension of all sales or procurement of products to and from Russian companies and the Russian government (HP, 3D Systems, GM, Apple, Nike, Airbus, FedEx, Walt Disney)

  • These reflect statements of specific actions companies have announced, some with immediate impacts.

Withdrawal of investment in Russian companies (BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil, Uber)

  • These statements reflect decisions made on strategic investments. It is not clear in most cases what the business impact will be.

Compliance with sanctions imposed by Western governments (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Mastercard, Visa)

  • These all reflect business changes enacted to comply with government sanctions. Some are accompanied by other actions the companies are taking voluntarily.

We will continue to monitor company commentary on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and will incorporate our analysis into our ongoing reporting as we move through the upcoming quarter.


Condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and support for employees based in both regions

01 MAR 22 — Vilmorin et Cie (RIN.FR) — Press Release: Sales and results for the first semester 2021-2022

  • Update on the situation i n Ukraine and in Russia In the current context of armed conflict in Ukraine , Vilmorin & Cie ‘s priority is to provide its support to its local employees . A crisis unit was already set up on Thursday February 24. Events are being closely monitored and practical measures of assistance contributing to the preservation of the health and safety of employees are being coordinated with the subsidiaries concerned. All activities in Ukraine are currently stopped. Furthermore, Vilmorin & Cie is actively working with its subsidiaries to ensure the security of its assets (administrative sites and research stations, in particular) and so that, as far as possible, its sales and economic objectives for the fiscal year can be achieved.

24 FEB 22 — VMware Inc (VMW) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2022 Earnings Call

  • Hi, Matt, this is Raghu. Before I answer your question, let me take a minute to comment on today’s news. Obviously, as all of us have been watching the news, the events that are happening in Ukraine are obviously much larger global scope and seriousness, and the impact and the conflict is horrible for all those involved. And we sincerely hope the hostilities cease really soon. And our thoughts are with everybody that’s impacted, of course, including our employees and our partners and our customers in the region. And as a critical infrastructure supplier, we have made all the preparations necessary for business continuity for all of those affected as well.

27 FEB 22 — Olam International Ltd (O32.SG) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • We are very closely monitoring the developments in the Black Sea between Russia and Ukraine and the conflict. Our first concern and priority is the safety and health of our people in these two countries. We have 127 employees in Ukraine, all Ukrainians, all local hires and citizens, we have been in constant touch with them. We have spoken to them yesterday as well. Obviously, they’re anxious and worried, but they’re keeping up good spirits and they’re all wanting to stay in Ukraine and don’t want to move out into other neighboring countries, as that is at least 150,000 people who have moved out of Ukraine in the last two days. So that is that. In Russia we have 1,938 people and obviously, there is anxiety in all of these places, these two are important markets for the world, grain and oilseeds and dairy and agri business markets, these are two important markets. Between the two countries they account for 19% of world’s corn trade floor, so out of 204 million tonnes of world corn trade is roughly 19%, which is about 38 million tonnes, comes from Ukraine, 34 million tonne, 34.5 million tonnes and about 4.5 million tonnes from Russia. In terms of global re-trade, which is about 207 million tonnes, about 29% comes from Russia and Ukraine, with Russia accounting for about 35 to 38 million tonnes of exports and Ukraine accounting for about 25 million tonnes of exports. And in terms of world edible oil trade, sunflower, et cetera, both countries contribute to 13% of world trade. Our own direct exposure in these markets is limited. Russia and Ukraine put together account 1% of our sales volume, 0.8% of our sales revenues, and about 0.4% of our invested capital, but what happens in Russia and Ukraine, In the grains, wheat, and edible oil markets has global implications for the worldwide grains, oilseeds and edible oil markets.

28 FEB 22 — VEON Ltd (VEON) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • Thank you, Nik. Good morning to all, and welcome to the presentation of our fourth quarter and full year results for 2021. Before we start reviewing our performance, I wanted to say a few words on the recent escalation of conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two out of the nine markets we proudly serve. It is heartbreaking and deeply saddening to see two countries with such profound ties in conflict. I would like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the current situation. This is a very sad time for all. And our top priority is the safety and security of our employees and their families. At the same time, our teams are making every effort to ensure service continuity as communication is even a more essential need than ever in these extreme situations.

01 MAR 22 — Salesforce.com — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2022 Earnings Call

  • This is probably one of those calls that is the most difficult type of call that we can do. And the reason why it is the most difficult call that we can do is all of the grim things that are happening in the world. And of course, all of us are witnesses to tragedies that we cannot believe our eyes. And at the same time, we’re here on the call to tell you that Salesforce had perhaps the best quarter it’s ever had in its history, and we are trying to measure our response.

And this is actually very personal for me. I’m sure many of you know that my great grandfather actually immigrated from Kyiv from — growing up, it was Kiev in our household. And — but my great grandfather, [ Isaac Benioff ], came to the United States from Kyiv. And my grandfather was born here in the United States and then came to San Francisco and met my grandmother, who was the second-generation San Franciscan. And that’s why I’m here now. I’m a fourth-generation San Franciscan. But looking back and looking at my family now in the Ukraine, my heart is really breaking for them. And the senseless pain, the suffering, the — it’s just unbelievably difficult to see what is going on in the world.

And while we really don’t have employees or do business in the Ukraine or Russia of any consequence, I would say that we do have employees and families like mine. And with loved ones there and deep connections to the region in this part of the world, and our heart is continuing to break. And we’ve provided ways that we provide humanitarian care.

01 MAR 22 — SEMrush Holdings Inc (SEMR) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • Thank you, and good morning to everyone on the call. Before I discuss our results, I would like to provide commentary on Russia’s invasion in Ukraine. This represents a terrible moment in history for all of us. We strongly oppose any act of war anywhere on the planet. Our hearts are with all community and our top priority is to make sure the handful of our contractors from Ukraine and their families are safe. As a US based Software-as-a-Service we are resilient. We have risk mitigation systems in place, and our data centers are based in the states of Virginia and Georgia, and virtually our entire platform is held in the cloud I want to assure the investment community which we remain positioned for strong growth.

01 MAR 22 — Bayer AG (BAYA.DE) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • All right. Thanks, Oliver, and good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to our conference call. Before we go into the business performance, let me start with what is certainly top of mind for all of us. With the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the geopolitical order has shaken. And we are deeply shocked and concerned about what is happening to the Ukrainian people. This war is no less than a threat to our freedom and democracy. And we as Bayer condemn in the most vigorous way this Russian attack. While we hope that concerted political actions will help to improve the situation as soon as possible, we as a company try to step up as a reliable partner and a good corporate citizen true to our vision, help for all, hunger for none. Of course, the safety of our employees is now our top priority. And we are taking all appropriate measures to protect our 700 colleagues in the Ukraine. At the same time, we are doing everything we can to further ensure supply of our products to the civilian population, including vital medicines and agriculture products to safeguard food supplies. And of course, we are prepared to step up our humanitarian help with financial support and donations of our medical products, as we have shown during the COVID pandemic.

Material impacts of the geopolitical conflict to business operations and / or financial results

24 FEB 22 — Zscaler Inc (ZS) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q2 2022 Earnings Call

  • Answer – Jagtar Singh Chaudhry: Andrew, it’s a little bit early to tell the impact, but our customers are concerned there’s higher cyberattack sensitivity. I was talking to a CXO from Germany earlier today, and he actually opened the call I had with him with this topic. And customers want to make sure they’re secure, and one of the things we think is going to help us directly is ZPA, which can hide our attack surface. If you can’t see something, you can’t attack it. And ZIA becomes more important for all the inline protection. Our research team is seeing signals of increased reconnaissance activity that’s increasing for the past few weeks. We have a 100-plus research team, and we’re making them available as a resource to our customers.

01 MAR 22 — International Game Technology PLC (IGT) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • As Vince mentioned earlier, we’re managing through some headwinds caused by near-term market dynamics. We’re confident we can mitigate the impact of these items with incremental product sales, financial rigor on costs, and lower depreciation and amortization related to the CapEx efficiency as well as timings of spending. It is fair to mention that our outlook does not factor at this point any material consequence from the recent conflict in Ukraine given our limited direct exposure to the affected region, although we continue to monitor events very closely and we’ll adjust our posture accordingly as events unfold.

28 FEB 22 — Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • Answer – Howard W. Robin: Yeah, of course. Look, obviously, the whole situation is devastating to watch, and our hearts go out to the Ukrainian people and it’s very difficult to watch what’s going on. I think we would all agree. I can tell you that Nektar does not have any vendors, testing labs, raw material supply chain or clinical sites in the Ukraine. So none of these studies were conducted there. And we don’t anticipate any – we’ve looked at this very carefully, of course, and it’s an excellent question. But we don’t anticipate any risk to database loss, any plans to analyze top line data, and/or any of the planned study results for BEMPEG as a result of what’s going on in the Ukraine-Russian conflict. And we don’t see any filing risks either at this point. We’re obviously going to continue to monitor this situation. And we will determine if there is any problem. But at this point, there doesn’t appear to be anything that puts these trials or the database locks at risk. And again, we have no sites in the Ukraine at all. I hope that answers it for you.

28 FEB 22 — Senior PLC (SNR.GB) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • While we’ve been monitoring the situation in Ukraine for some time now, it’s too early to assess the macroeconomic impact of the human tragedy that has been unfolding in recent days; and, therefore, it’d be premature to comment authoritatively on how our markets and customers may be affected beyond the very limited direct exposure we have to customers and suppliers in Russia. Firstly, just to confirm that Senior has no operations or people based in Russia or Ukraine. Last year, sales to Russian customers totaled only approximately £2 million, or 0.3% of group sales. And we purchased approximately £500,000 of titanium from Russian suppliers through customer-enabled contracts, and we’ve already taken steps to secure our raw material supply chains for 2022.

22 FEB 22 — Worley Ltd (WOR.AU) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q2 2022 Earnings Call

  • Question – Richard Johnson: That’s very clear. Thanks. Chris, and then just quickly can you confirm whether you’ve got an exposure to Eastern Europe? 

Answer – Chris Ashton: Well, we do. We’ve got people in Sofia, Bulgaria, where we do our nuclear project. We’ve got eight Ukrainian nationals, three of which are in the Ukraine, the other five are on rotation outside of Ukraine. They’re in Egypt on different projects. Obviously, we’re monitoring the situation, Richard, but from a financial revenue point of view, we don’t have any exposure to the Ukraine of any material at all, but from a people safety point of view, we’re monitoring the situation very clearly. We do work – we do have some work associated with Russian customers. And so, we’ll continue to monitor that as well.

24 FEB 22 — Floor & Decor Holdings Inc (FND) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • Let me discuss the details of our 2022 outlook. Our assumptions are based on opening 32 new warehouse stores, 4 new design studios, and a continued favorable macroeconomic backdrop that I just outlined. However, we cannot currently estimate any impact Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have on our business. We are planning for higher supply chain and vendor product costs throughout 2022. Additionally, in order to lock in international container capacity to support our growth for the second half of 2022, we are planning on international container costs to continue to grow throughout 2022. As Tom mentioned, it is our intention to pass along these cost increases and grow our gross margin rate throughout 2022 relative to the fourth quarter of 2021 when our gross margin rate was 38.8%.

24 FEB 22 — Enerflex Ltd (EFX.CA) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • Answer – Marc E. Rossiter: Well, it would – just to make it clear, it’s not material. We don’t see the Russia invasion of Ukraine as a material event for Enerflex from a particular sales and revenue streams that we have. It does destabilize the world. And one thing that business loves is stability and predictability. So we’re not minimizing the potential impacts of this event. But with respect to business we do in Russia or the Ukraine, it’s minimal and not something that we would have to talk about. Really, we stopped doing business in Russia after they invaded the Crimea in 2014. And at that point in time, the Canadian and the US governments, which is where a lot of our – we have to follow those laws very closely, they pretty much said, stop doing business in Russia, and we did. And so, we’re following the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. And really, since 2014, we haven’t spent any real business development efforts trying to grow our businesses in Russia. So nothing really there for us. It’s just we are going to watch very closely any impacts this has on global oil and gas spending.

24 FEB 22 — Cogent Communications Holdings Inc (CCOI) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • Answer – David Schaeffer: Yeah. So three different questions there. Let’s start with the geopolitical question. While we do have network inside of the Ukraine and our network extends all the way to the Russian border and Kharkov, it is a relatively small market for Cogent. We do sell to most of the Russian carriers, including the national incumbent. We do sell to them outside of Russia, in part because of political tensions. If sanctions were put in place, we would no longer sell to those customers honoring those sanctions. They also represent a very small portion of Cogent’s total traffic in NetCentric revenues. We have virtually no Corporate business in either of those markets. So, I don’t think there’s going to be any real direct impact that’s material to Cogent.

01 MAR 22 — Nokian Tyres PLC (TYRES.FI) — Press Release: Nokian Tyres’ update on our businesses in Russia

  • The Russian military actions in Ukraine and the consequent sanctions have caused significant uncertainty related to Russia , to the functionality of the Russian financial and payment system, and to the Russian ruble exchange rate. Therefore the Board of Directors of Nokian Tyres plc has decided to withdraw the Company’s financial guidance for 2022 published on February 8, 2022. Due to the prevailing uncertainties, the Board is not in a position to give a new guidance at this moment.

Suspension of all sales or procurement of products to and from Russian companies and the Russian government

28 FEB 22 — 3D Systems Corp (DDD) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q4 2021 Earnings Call

  • Thanks, John, and good afternoon, everyone. Before I begin my prepared remarks, let me take a moment for a brief statement regarding the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Given the clear and unacceptable humanitarian implications of Russia’s recent actions, we’ve elected to immediately suspend all sales to Russia. We’re hopeful that the situation will be resolved quickly and peacefully, and that the Ukrainian people can move forward as a free country with an elected representative government. Our guidance for 2022 that we provided in our press release this afternoon and that we’ll discuss later in this call reflects, to the best of our ability, these risks to our anticipated results this year.

28 FEB 22 — HP Inc (HPQ) — Earnings Call Transcript: Q1 2022 Earnings Call

  • Before I discuss the quarter, I want to briefly address the unfolding situation in Ukraine. The well-being of our people, their families, and?our customers and partners is our top concern. We are doing everything we can to keep them safe. We want nothing more than to see peace and stability restored to the region. We have an experienced cross-functional team in place focused on business continuation. The environment is very fluid, and we are preparing for a range of scenarios. And in the meantime, in compliance with administrations’ recently approved sanctions, we have suspended shipments to Russia. The difficult situation in Ukraine is the latest in a series of global challenges we have faced. Time and again, our team has shown remarkable agility and determination, and?I have great confidence in their ability to manage these situations.

28 FEB 22 — GM — Company Statement 

  • GM is committed to complying with the laws and regulations of the markets in which we do business, including applicable US economic sanctions and export control laws and regulations.” The automaker said it is halting exports to Russia “until further notice.” “We continue to monitor developments and take action to implement mitigation strategies as appropriate.”

28 FEB 22 – Apple – Company Statement Released to the Media

  • “We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering. We have paused all product sales in Russia.” The company added that it had already “stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country” last week. “Apple Pay and other services have been limited. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.”

01 MAR 22 – Google – Company Statement

  • We are committed to complying with all sanctions requirements and we continue to monitor the latest guidance. As individuals, regions and institutions like banks are sanctioned, products like Google Pay may become unavailable in certain countries.

Most of our services (like Search, Maps and YouTube) currently remain available in Russia, continuing to provide access to global information and perspectives.

We will continue to monitor the situation and take additional actions as needed – and we join the international community in expressing sincere hope for a return to a peaceful and sovereign Ukraine.

1 MAR 22 – Nike – Company Statement on its Russian website

  • Nike cannot currently guarantee delivery of goods to customers in Russia. As a result, merchandise purchases on nike.com and the Nike App are temporarily unavailable in this region.

02 MAR 22 – Airbus – Company Statement

  • We have suspended major operations in Moscow and temporarily closed our office in Kyiv. We are also suspending parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines. As the conflict continues, our teams are focused on ensuring the safety of our teammates in the region.

02 MAR 22 – FedEx – Company statement on its Russian website

  • FedEx and TNT services in and out of Ukraine and to Russia are temporarily suspended until further notice

28 FEB 22 – Walt Disney – Company Statement

  • Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming Turning Red from Pixar. We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation. In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees.

Withdrawal of investment in Russian companies

28 FEB 22 — Rosneft Oil Company (ROSN.RU) — Press Release: BP PLC – bp to exit Rosneft shareholding

  • bp chair Helge Lund said: ” Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of aggression which is having tragic consequences across the region. bp has operated in Russia for over 30 years, working with brilliant Russian colleagues. However, this military action represents a fundamental change. It has led the bp board to conclude, after a thorough process, that our involvement with Rosneft, a state-owned enterprise, simply cannot continue. We can no longer support bp representatives holding a role on the Rosneft board. The Rosneft holding is no longer aligned with bp ‘s business and strategy and it is now the board’s decision to exit bp ‘s shareholding in Rosneft. The bp board believes these decisions are in the best long-term interests of all our shareholders.” bp chief executive officer Bernard Looney added: “Like so many, I have been deeply shocked and saddened by the situation unfolding in Ukraine and my heart goes out to everyone affected. It has caused us to fundamentally rethink bp ‘s position with Rosneft. I am convinced that the decisions we have taken as a board are not only the right thing to do, but are also in the long-term interests of bp . Our immediate priority is caring for our great people in the region and we will do our utmost to support them. We are also looking at how bp can support the wider humanitarian effort.”

28 FEB 22 – Shell – Press Release

  • The Board of Shell plc (“Shell”) today announced its intention to exit its joint ventures with Gazprom and related entities, including its 27.5 percent stake in the Sakhalin-II liquefied natural gas facility, its 50 percent stake in the Salym Petroleum Development and the Gydan energy venture. Shell also intends to end its involvement in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

28 FEB 22 — Uber — Uber spokesman, Noah Edwardsen, in a Company Statement

  • In light of recent events, we are actively looking for opportunities to accelerate the sale of our remaining holdings (in Yandex) and, in the meantime, will remove our executives from the board of the joint venture.

Compliance with sanctions imposed by Western governments

28 FEB 22 — Promsvyazbank PJSC  — Press Release: ‘Apple Pay, Google Pay inaccessible on cards of many Russian banks’

  • Mobile payment services Apple Pay and Google Pay are not available for customers holding the bank cards of several Russian banks, affected by sanctions imposed by the US, the EU and the UK , reports Rosbalt citing a statement from the Russian Central Bank . The list includes VTB , Sovkombank, Novinkombank, Promsvyazbank and Otkrytie.

28 FEB 22 – Mastercard – Company Statements

  • Our first priority has been the well-being of our employees and their families. Our teams are working around the clock to help secure their safety, using all the resources at our disposal. We will keep our employees in mind throughout the region as we navigate through this crisis.

As a result of sanction orders, we have blocked multiple financial institutions from the Mastercard payment network.  We will continue to work with regulators in the days ahead to abide fully by our compliance obligations as they evolve.

Given the unfolding emergency, we are also working with our partners to direct funding and humanitarian aid where it can provide the greatest impact. Today, we announced a $2 million contribution to the Red Cross, Save the Children and our employee assistance fund for humanitarian relief. We will actively pursue additional opportunities to assist aid organizations to play our part in supporting the global relief effort.

28 FEB 22 – Visa – Company Statement

  • Visa Foundation will provide a $2 million grant to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. We are proud to support the courageous work of UNICEF and their humanitarian relief efforts. Visa will also double match all employee donations (up to $1 million) to the Ukraine response funds of UNICEF and the Red Cross. 

Beyond these efforts, Visa is taking prompt action to ensure compliance with applicable sanctions, and is prepared to comply with additional sanctions that may be implemented. 

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