Carlsberg consolidates in Switzerland and France

Carlsberg consolidates in Switzerland and France

Carlsberg is to close one of its two breweries in Switzerland as part of the group's ongoing consolidation of beer operations in Western Europe.

Carlsberg said today (31 August) that its subsidiary in Switzerland, Feldschlösschen, will close its brewery in Fribourg by June 2011. Carlsberg will concentrate production for the Swiss market at its brewery in Rheinfelden.

Demand for beer in Western Europe has declined over the last few years and most major brewers have sought to streamline their operations.
Some of the beer production at Fribourg will be transferred to the Obernai brewery in France, Carlsberg said. Obernai is part of Brasseries Kronenbourg, which Carlsberg acquired in 2008 as part of its carve-up of Scottish & Newcastle with Heineken.
"During the last years, Feldschlösschen in Switzerland has been producing below its capacity," said Carlsberg. "With volume moving to France, overcapacity will become even more significant."

All 75 affected employees in Fribourg will either be offered alternative employment within Feldschlösschen or will retire, the brewer said. The micro brewery Valaisanne in Sion, which has ten employees, will be unaffected.

Western Europe's beer market shrank by 1% in volume for the first half of 2010, compared with the same period of 2009, Carlsberg said in its full-year results announcement earlier this month.

The French market shrank by 2% over the same six-month period and Brasseries Kronenbourg lost some market share as it continued to restructure its business with a greater focus on premium brands, Carlsberg said.