Unicer is consolidating its position in its domestic market by closing one of its three breweries in Portugal.

The company, which is jointly held by Carlsberg and the Viacer Consortium, confirmed today (3 October) that it will cease production at it facility in Loulé in the south of Portugal by the end of the year. The closure will affect 65 employees.

"Unicer is taking this process of restructure as a way to gain continued improvements in productivity, which supports the reinforcement of its competitiveness and reassures its sustained growth," the company said.

The Loulé brewery has an annual capacity of 400,000 hectolitres, representing 7% of Unicer's total beer production.

Unicer's two other breweries in Portugal, in Santarém and Leça do Balio, are better placed to handle the company's growing exports, with transport costs working out more cost-effective, the company said.

No-one was available for further clarification at Carlsberg when contacted by just-drinks today.

Carlsberg holds a 44% stake in Unicer, with Viacer accounting for the remaining 56%.