Oriflame Takes a Hit amid Ukraine Crisis

Rising tensions amid Ukraine’s political unrest have triggered a currency decline that is taking a toll on businesses across the region. With a weakening Ukrainian hryvnia and Russian ruble, Swedish cosmetics company Oriflame has seen stock fall 24 percent in 2014.

On Sunday, Crimea’s Russian-backed government held a referendum on seceding from Ukraine and unifying with Russia. The U.S. and EU have announced they will not recognize the results and have issued sanctions against top officials in Russia, calling for an end to its military activities in the region. Russian forces have occupied the former Soviet republic since late February.

During intraday trading on Friday, shares in Oriflame dropped to 145.3 kronor in Stockholm trading, their lowest price since April 2005. The company, which generates half its business in the Baltics and the states constituting the Russian Commonwealth, is no stranger to political unrest.

“It’s of course worrisome when two of our biggest markets are in conflict with each other, but we continue as usual with our business,” Johanna Palm, head of investor relations at Oriflame, told Bloomberg.

U.S.-based direct sellers with a stake in the region include Amway, Avon, Herbalife, Mary Kay, Morinda and Nu Skin.

Read more on Oriflame’s business in Ukraine.

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Direct Selling News Magazine has been serving direct selling and network marketing executives since 2004. Each issue of Direct Selling News offers content on topics that shape the dynamics of our industry.

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