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Domino’s franchisee considers withdrawal from Russia

The Russian arm of Pizza chain Domino’s is considering whether to sell up, more than 10 months after the Kremlin launched a war against Ukraine.

The franchisee behind the 171 Domino’s Pizza sites in the country said that it is “evaluating its presence” and looking at the impact that sanctions are having on its business.

It comes weeks after the business, DP Eurasia, was named in the Commons as one of the companies still doing business in Russia.

Hundreds of big western brands pulled out of the country in the first half of this year, after Russian president Vladimir Putin sent troops and tanks into Ukraine.

But some have remained there. DP Eurasia runs Domino’s sites in Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. It is the biggest pizza delivery chain in Turkey, where it has 673 stores, and the third largest in Russia.

The business owns 68 of its Russian sites directly, while 103 are franchised to local operators.

Its shares, which are traded in London, have taken a battering since the start of the war.

“The company notes recent speculation regarding an exit by the group from its Russian operations,” it said on Wednesday.

“DP Eurasia is evaluating its presence in Russia, the impact of sanctions and its continuing ability to serve its customers in Russia.

“Consequently, the company is considering various options which may include a divestment of its Russian operations.

“Whilst work on a potential transaction is ongoing, there can be no certainty as to the outcome.”

Earlier this month Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, named DP Eurasia, Unilever and HSBC as some of those companies continuing to trade with Russia.

He asked the Treasury to find ways to discourage such businesses from continuing to trade with Russia.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Pritchard said: “There is no doubt that the UK has led the Ukraine war effort with the United States, and there is no doubt that the UK has led the international sanctions regime, but this urgent question is about UK companies.

“Does the minister share my concern that DP Eurasia is selling pizzas in Russia, Unilever is selling Cornetto ice creams in Russia, and HSBC is still servicing Russian corporate clients? Does he think that is acceptable?

“What more action can the Government take to encourage those companies to remove their services and businesses from Russia and to divest themselves fully, rather than just give interviews to corporate magazines and offer warm words?”