Ad hoc press release in accordance with Art. 53 of the Listing Rules – Vetropack Group temporarily halts production in Ukraine for safety reasons
24.02.2022: Bülach, 24 February 2022 – Vetropack Holding Ltd, one of Europe's leading manufacturers of glass packaging, announced today that it is temporarily suspending its production in Ukraine. The sole reason for this step is the dramatic worsening of events in the socalled Ukraine conflict, with military action. These events no longer allow a regular production operation that is safe for the employees.
The temporary suspension of production at its site in Ukraine, PrJSC Vetropack Gostomel near Kyiv, is the Vetropack Group's unavoidable response to current developments on the ground: "We are unfortunately left with no other choice," according to Johann Reiter, CEO of Vetropack Holding Ltd. "In the present situation, for safety reasons, we are no longer able to maintain the structured and secure operation of a glass factory not far from the capital Kyiv."
Production of glass packaging requires continuous supplies of electricity and gas, as well as very high temperatures. Military action in the surrounding area creates the danger of interruptions to the energy supply. This would mean a major risk – especially for the workforce on site. "Protecting our employees is always the utmost priority for us," Johann Reiter emphasises. "We will never expose them to direct or indirect danger in our operations, which is why we are now winding production down in an orderly manner." The Vetropack Group is not considering a permanent closure of the site, which covers an area of almost 230,000 square metres. "We expect to resume production as soon as the situation eases," Johann Reiter adds.
These events do not catch the Group unprepared: in recent weeks, Vetropack's management responded to the worsening political situation by collaborating closely with the plant management in Gostomel to develop a crisis plan that is now being progressively implemented. The 600 or so employees at the site were informed about all the next steps this morning. They are being temporarily released from work on full pay.
Customers and service providers have also been informed about the measures today: "We are in direct contact with our customers in Ukraine and other countries that purchase our products. We will keep them updated on further steps," according to Pavel Prinko, General Manager of the Business Unit Ukraine/Republic of Moldova. "We shall of course continue our close and collaborative relationships with many of our longstanding business partners in the region."
Vetropack manufactures various types of glass packaging in Ukraine, with three furnaces and eight production lines. The Gostomel site is one of the Vetropack Group's nine European production plants. Glass has been manufactured there since 1912. The Vetropack Group acquired the facility in 2006 as part of its continuous growth strategy.
The Vetropack Group numbers among Europe's leading manufacturers of glass packaging for the food and beverage industry. The Group has cutting-edge production plants as well as sales and distribution offices in Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Italy and the Republic Moldova.