Heineken is set to lay off staff in France.

The Dutch-based global brewer is poised to cut 93 jobs in the country, although it will soften the blow by creating 34 new ones. At the same time, 22 jobs will be transferred from the Rueil-Malmaison facility to Schiltigheim, while 38 jobs will be transferred in the opposite direction.

Heineken France is also looking to regroup the sales and marketing departments of Brasseries Heineken and Brasserie Fischer to help strengthen the marketing of its flagship brands.

"Heineken France has made an undertaking that it will not impose any redundancies without some form of statutory compensation and that it will implement, in consultation with its works councils, all the necessary measures to ensure that none of the employees concerned will be left to face potential employment problems alone," the company said.

Speaking to just-drinks today (13 June), a spokesperson for Heineken France said that the first meeting with the works council took place yesterday. When asked for the workers' reaction, the spokesperson said: "It's difficult to say, but I don't think they were surprised - they knew we had to do something."

Since 1999, the French beer market has declined by over 11%, and by nearly 23% in the on-trade. "The French (beer) market is in a bad shape," the spokesperson added. "Everyone has to adapt to the difficult conditions."

The beer markets of Western Europe are proving problematic of late for all brewers as sales stagnation takes hold. Earlier this month, InBev had to deal with industrial action in Belgium as it announced it too was cutting jobs.