Heineken is to cut around 5% of its workforce in Romania by ceasing all malt production in the country, as part of the brewer's global cost savings strategy.

All malt production at Heineken Romania's three plants, at Hateg, Craiova and Miercurea-Ciuc, will cease on 19 October, the group announced today (17 September).

Closing in-house malt production will lead to 61 job losses from Heineken Romania's 1,300-strong workforce, it said.

The move is part of Netherlands-based Heineken's Total Cost Management programme, a global cost savings scheme launched this year and set to run until 2011.

An internal review of malting operations in Romania revealed that high production costs, due to water and energy usage, whil the capacity of the three plants is relatively low, Heineken said.

The brewer said it remains committed to Romania's emerging beer market.

"We are here to stay, to further invest in our business and brands in order to deliver excellent quality to our consumers," said Jan Derck van Karnebeek, general manager of Heineken Romania.

Heineken Romania has five breweries located in Constanta, Craiova, Hateg, Miercurea Ciuc, Targu Mures.

Earlier this month, Heineken said it would close brewing operations at the historic Stepan Razin Brewery in Russia, also as part of the Total Cost Management programme.