DENMARK: Carlsberg clarifies closure talk

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Carlsberg has warned that none of its breweries in Western Europe are safe from future closure. Speaking exclusively to just-drinks today (29 September), Carlsberg spokesman Jens Peter Skaarup said that none of its breweries are "holy."

The Danish brewer confirmed this week that it will close some of its 30 breweries in the region, with speculation suggesting that up to 50% will go. In Danish news reports yesterday, it was claimed that Carlsberg's original Valby brewery in Copenhagen would be sold for around DKR1.2bn (US$193.5m).

"We have a problem in the declining market of western Europe," Skaarup told just-drinks. "No breweries are safe, not even the one here in Copenhagen.

"Four years ago, our CEO said that there would be no Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen within the next 10 years," Skaarup added.

The company has 15 breweries in western Europe that it deems as anchor plants, with the remaining being support facilities. "It is not so simple to say that we will close our support breweries only," Skaarup said.

"In the UK, for example, we have two breweries - one in Leeds and one in Northampton. Last year, we invested DKR250m in the Leeds plant, so it is unlikely, therefore, that we will close this brewery. Northampton is one of our anchor sites, however."

Skaarup was keen to point out that there is no master plan currently in place, and that closures could take place as far away as 10 years' time.

Other reports today have suggested that Carlsberg breweries in some European countries will be safe from closure. "We are looking to increase the efficiency of cross-border cooperation (between Carlsberg breweries)," Skaarup said. "No breweries are holy."

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Carlsberg

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