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Denmark’s biggest brewery Carlsberg halts production and sales in Russia

Danish brewer Carlsberg, the world's fourth biggest beer producer, said Wednesday it was halting production and sales in Russia due to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The Carlsberg logo on the jacket of an employee
The Carlsberg logo on the jacket of an employee. The Danish brewer is to cease activities in Russia after the latter country's invasion of Ukraine. File photo: Vincent Kessler/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

“We stand alongside the Ukrainian people and people around the world in condemning the Russian invasion in the strongest possible terms”, the group said in a statement.

It said it could therefore not conduct “business as usual” in Russia.

Last week, the group announced that it would halt new investments and exports from Carlsberg into Russia.

“Since then, we have ceased all advertising by both the Carlsberg Group and Baltika Breweries in Russia, and we will stop producing and selling our flagship brand, Carlsberg, in the Russian market”, it said.

Carlsberg has been a majority owner of Baltika Breweries since 2008 and the latter employs 8,400 people, representing more than one in five of Carlsberg’s total global workforce.

Baltika Breweries will continue to operate — but as a separate business — “with the purpose of sustaining our employees and their families”.

Carlsberg said its “first priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our more than 1,300 colleagues in Ukraine”, and said it was helping provide shelter, transport, food and fresh water to employees and others in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

But it said it also felt “a moral obligation to our Russian colleagues who are an integral part of Carlsberg, and who are not responsible for the actions of the government”.

The Danish group said that, during the humanitarian crisis, any profits generated by its business in Russia would be donated to relief organisations.

In 2021, Russia and Ukraine accounted for approximately 13 percent of the Carlsberg group’s revenue and approximately nine percent of operating profit.

The developments in Russia and Ukraine would “negatively impact” the group’s 2022 financial results, it said, and its assets in both markets “may be subject to non-cash impairment and write-down”.

As a result, Carlsberg said it was suspending its earnings guidance for 2022 due to the “very high uncertainty related to Ukraine and Russia and the possible indirect impact on the rest of the group”.

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SAS

SAS pilot unions delay strike for three days of extra talks

Sweden’s pilot union has agreed to postpone the strike planned for Wednesday by three days in the hope of striking a last minute deal with the SAS airline.

SAS pilot unions delay strike for three days of extra talks

The strike, due to start on June 29th, has been pushed forward until just after midnight on July 1st, to provide time for extra negotiations with the Scandinavian airline’s management over a new collective bargaining agreement. 

After weeks with intensive negotiations over a new agreement between SAS leadership and 1,000 of the airline’s pilots, both sides are now willing to continue discussions, pushing back the deadline by three days. 

“SAS and the Norwegian pilot union are in agreement that we will continue negotiations for three days,” Norwegian national mediator Mats Wilhelm Ruland said. “There’s been intensive work towards finding a solution.”

Karin Nyman, Swedish press officer for SAS, said that the company was glad to have been given more time.

“It means above everything else that our customers will be able to travel over the next few days,” she told Swedish newswire TT.

Martin Lindgren, chairman of the Swedish SAS branch of the Swedish Air Line Pilots Association (SPF), would not comment on the content of the negotiations, but said that it was worth continuing to try and reach an agreement.

“We feel a great responsibility towards both SAS and our members, but above all towards our passengers,” he said in a press statement.

“Although we have gone to great lengths to come to an agreement, many issues remain unsolved. The strike can only be avoided if SAS show a real will to meet us. As of now, we’re choosing to give the other side yet another chance to do that.”

The airline’s Danish press officer, Alexandra Kaoukji, wrote in a statement to Danish newswire Ritzau that mediators believe “there is a possibility of reaching consensus” on a new agreement between the airline and pilots.

“The new 72-hour deadline means that our passengers will be able to travel,” she told the newswire. “We’re very happy about that. Our hope is therefore that we can find a solution and that passengers will not be affected.”

Nyman was also hopeful that both sides would be able to come to an agreement without resorting to strike action.

“We can only state that we’ve had constructive talks in recent days in our negotiations, and obviously the mediators have then made the assessment that there is a chance of reaching an agreement,” she said.

Pilots are unhappy that SAS is hiring new pilots on cheaper contracts in their two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement, up to 30,000 SAS passengers could be affected per day, the airline said on June 27th.

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