DENMARK: Carlsberg counters closures report

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Carlsberg has clarified local reports suggesting that it is looking to cut costs in Western Europe. The Danish brewer, who earlier this week posted a fall in its first half earnings, will lay off employees and close breweries as part of the exercise, daily Boersen said yesterday (11 August).

Citing Carlsberg chief executive Nils Smedegaard, the paper said that the brewer will need to reduce costs by at least 3% per year in Western Europe in order to maintain an unchanged earnings level.

"We are considering closing down breweries in several places, but we have no plans that we wish to publish at present," Smedegaard told the daily. "It is clear that there will be fewer employees in Carlsberg in one year," he added. "Globally I don't know, but in Western Europe we will have to cut back, also in Denmark."

Earnings for the brewer in the first half of this year fell to DKK1.3bn (US$216m) from DKK1.5bn in the corresponding period a year earlier, Carlsberg said this week.

Speaking to just-drinks today, a spokesman for the brewer said: "We have had a cost reduction programme in place, which is due to end in 2006. There are no plans for a new programme to follow this, but we intend to make continuous improvements in all areas.

"There are no actual plans in place," the spokesman concluded.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Carlsberg

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