Carlsberg has warned that its third quarter beer volumes are likely to be down in Russia, reflecting a market slowdown in 2008.

Poor weather, rising prices and economic problems were to blame for the expected "slight" decline in the third quarter, Carlsberg said in an unshceduled trading update today (3 October).

Russia's whole beer market, excluding premium, has suffered this year, said the group, which now fully owns the country's leading brewer, Baltika, following its part in the takeover of Scottish & Newcastle this year.

"For 2008 as a whole, we now expect the Russian beer market growth to be 1-2%," said the Danish brewer, adding that conditions had become worse in the last six weeks.

Carlsberg said it expected double-digit net revenue growth, in local currencies, and operating margin growth for the quarter, however. It attributed this to continued growth in the premium beer segment.

The brewer will report its third quarter results on 5 November, but released today's statement "as a result of the extraordinary level of investor uncertainty, intense market speculation around the Russian environment and comments from other consumer companies operating in the region".

It added: "Key fundamentals for growth in Russia remain unchanged and support a medium term growth rate of 3-5% per year with existing premiumisation trends continuing."