Electrolux shuts Egypt plants after violence

Swedish home appliance maker Electrolux said on Thursday it was temporarily closing its factories in Egypt due to the violence in the country, while other firms with Swedish ties like Ericsson and Ikea have also been affected by the situation.

Electrolux shuts Egypt plants after violence

“We’re temporarily shutting our plants in and around Cairo. The decision was taken yesterday (Wednesday) and today (Thursday). We’ll meet this weekend to discuss it,” company spokesman Daniel Frykholm told AFP.

“We feel we have to evaluate the security situation,” he added.

Electrolux employs around 6,700 people in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Swedish-Swiss engineering firm ABB, which has more than 1,000 staff members in Egypt, claimed the recent violence in Egypt “hadn’t had any major effects on operations”.

“We’ve made some small adjustments in terms of work shifts in order to guarantee the safety of our workers. Certain travel restrictions have also been implemented,” ABB spokeswoman told the TT news agency.

Telecoms giant Ericsson has also taken measures to ensure the safety of staff working in Egypt, recommending its 700 employees to work from home.

“We’re following the situation carefully,” said Ericsson spokesman Fredrik Hallstan.

Swedish furniture retailer Ikea also said plans to open its first store in Egypt may be in jeopardy.

The local franchiser has ordered a halt to operations on the site, which is located just outside of Cairo and is in the final phases of completion ahead of a scheduled October opening.

“Many of Ikea’s employees must travel through the city. We must think of their safety first and foremost,” Inter Ikea spokeswoman Ulrika Englesson Sandman told TT.

She added it “not unlikely” that the recent unrest in Cairo will delay the store’s opening.

“But it depends on how the situation develops,” she said.

At least 525 people were killed across the country on Wednesday when Egyptian security forces broke up protests in support of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, according to the latest toll provided by a health ministry official on Thursday.

AFP/TT/The Local/dl

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Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The company added that it was “engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business.”

“The priority is to focus on the safety and well-being of Ericsson employees in Russia and they will be placed on paid leave,” it said.

READ ALSO: How has Sweden responded to Putin’s war in Ukraine so far?

Hundreds of Western firms ranging from Ikea to Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and McDonald’s have stopped operations in the country since the invasion, with French banking group Societe Generale announcing Monday it was selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

Ericsson has around 600 employees in Russia, and is a “major supplier to the largest operator MTS and the fourth largest operator Tele2,” a company spokeswoman told AFP, adding that together with Ukraine, Russia accounts for less than two percent of revenue.

As a result, the equipment maker said it would record a provision for 900 million Swedish kronor ($95 million, 87 million euros) for the first quarter of 2022 for “impairment of assets and other exceptional costs,” though no staff redundancy costs were included.
Ericsson is due to publish its first quarter earnings on April 14.