InBev is to cease operations at one of its Bulgarian breweries. The company said on Friday (21 October) that it will transfer operations from its Pleven brewery to its remaining two facilities in the country.

In a statement, the company said: "After an extensive review of its Bulgarian operations, which took over a year to conduct, InBev has decided to optimise its production activities by the end of 2005. The decision to transfer brewing and packaging operations to the two other sites is based on excess capacity, and on the disadvantages which this creates. The Pleven site will continue its production of malt; sales and distribution activities, as well as logistics operations, will also continue."

The company said 98 employees will be affected by the closure, and will be provided "fair severance packages as well as support services".

As a result of the Pleven Brewery restructuring, new investments will be made, and new jobs will be created in both the Plovdiv and Haskovo breweries, InBev added.

"All necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the Pleven brewery production is transitioned to the rest of the distribution centres network before the transfer of production assets takes place. The normal supply of stock to the market will also be secured," the company said.

InBev expects a total one-off cost of €0.4m, related to the production optimisation, which has a capacity of 0.46m hectolitres. The total capital expenditure (CAPEX) needed for the relocation of production will be approximately €1.6m.