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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Denmark announces seven-billion kroner Ukraine fund

A majority in the Danish parliament has approved a new fund to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.

Denmark announces seven-billion kroner Ukraine fund

The fund, which consists of seven billion kroner (€940 million), will be targeted at Danish military, civilian and commercial assistance to Ukraine, according to the Nordic country’s finance ministry.

“Last year, we came together in a historic national compromise on Danish security policies. That was necessary in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen said in a statement.

“With today’s agreement we give some seven million additional kroner to the efforts in Ukraine, and this will happen on a fully economically responsible basis,” he added.

All of parliament’s parties with the exception of the left-wing Red Green Alliance and Alternative parties voted for the fund.

Some 5.4 billion of the total 7 billion kroner will be spent on military assistance to Ukraine, with 1.2 billion kroner on civilian needs and 400 million to support businesses.

Part of the spending is funded by Denmark’s international development budget, while over 5 billion comes from spending an increased portion of the national GDP on the 2023 budget, news wire Ritzau states.

The money is designed to “retain a high level for military support” and “make a genuine difference for the Ukrainians,” acting defence minister Troels Lund Poulsen said.

“Their fight is our fight,” he added.