Heineken and Carlsberg leave Russia

Denmark’s Carlsberg, which has 8,400 employees in Russia, said it was seeking a “full divestiture” of its business but would keep operations at a reduced level “to support the livelihoods of those employees and their families. families” until the sale is completed.

“The war in Ukraine and the escalating humanitarian and refugee crisis shock us all. We continue to strongly condemn the Russian invasion, which has caused so much loss of life, devastation and human tragedy,” said Carlsberg CEO Cees ‘t Hart. in a report.

Carlsberg’s Russian business recorded revenue and operating profit of DKK 6.5 billion ($958 million) and DKK 682 million ($100 million) respectively in 2021. The group said on Monday that the divestment would result in a “substantial” impairment charge.

Heineken (HEINY) had already halted new investments and exports to Russia and halted the sale, production and advertising of its Heineken-branded beer in the country.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to see the war in Ukraine continue to unfold and escalate,” the Dutch brewer said in a statement.

The Moretti and Amstel brewer said it aimed to transfer the business to a new owner, while respecting Russian and international laws.

“To ensure the continued safety and well-being of our employees and to minimize the risk of nationalization, we have concluded that it is essential that we continue with recently reduced operations during this transition period,” he added. .

The brewer said it would pay the salaries of its 1,800 employees in Russia until the end of 2022 and “will do everything possible to safeguard their future employment”.

Heineken expects to take a 400 million euro ($439 million) hit from the move.

“Once the transfer is complete, Heineken will no longer have a presence in Russia,” the company said.

Heineken announced in February that its Russian beer volumes increased by a few percentage points in 2021, driven by stronger demand for premium brands Heineken, Miller and Dr Diesel. It also saw growth in its market-leading cider business in Russia.

Dozens of companies from all sectors of the economy have abandoned Russia or frozen their operations there since the February 24 invasion.

rival brewer AB InBev (BUD), the maker of Budweiser and other brands, said it has “asked the controlling shareholder” of its Russian business to suspend the license to produce and sell Bud in the country. The company also “renounces all financial benefits” of its joint venture activities. Employees will still be paid.


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