Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted told CNBC on Wednesday that it was too early to know when the company would resume business operations in Russia.
“I think it’s premature. The war has been going on for two weeks, and at this stage we are making the right decision at this time. … I think it’s very difficult to make a dogmatic decision at this stage” , Rorsted said in an interview that aired on “Closing Bell.”
“We will deal with the situation as the world evolves, but at the moment we are trying to deal with this situation immediately and in the right way,” he added.
The German sportswear company said earlier this week it was closing its Russian stores and suspending online sales in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Reuters reported that Adidas operates around 500 stores in Russia. The company also suspended its partnership with the Russian Football Union on March 1.
Adidas is among hundreds of companies that have halted or reduced Russian business operations in recent days, including Starbucks, McDonald’s and Apple.
The company announced an optimistic outlook for 2022 on Wednesday, forecasting an 11% to 13% increase in currency-neutral sales, which takes into account business risks in Russia and Ukraine. Rorsted said he is focused on supporting Ukraine while achieving business growth.
“I don’t want to sound cynical, but the balance between the two is right because Russia is about 2% of our income, and we still have to deal with that, and also make sure that we further develop the 98% of income. , which is the overall income,” he said.
Rorsted said Adidas has thousands of employees in Russia and continues to pay them. “But it is also important that we look at it in a broader context. We need to protect our employees and mitigate the situation through donations and emergency aid to the whole region, and in particular to our employees in Ukraine,” said he declared.