International beer group, Interbrew, has announced that it is to close a brewery in the Netherlands and downsize one of its production facilities in the UK. The move, which will result in 400 job losses and lead to an €25m writedown, is aimed at improving the company's cost structure, Interbrew said.

The company will close its brewery at Breda, transerring its production to other breweries in Belgium and Holland. Another brewery in Manchester will concentrate on producing bitter while lager production is switched to other facilities in the area.

Last week, when Interbrew published its first half results, CEO Hugo Powell announced a €79m charge for closing operations in the UK and Canada but no mention was made of the Netherlands. So the announcement about Breda has taken some analysts by surprise.

"These exceptionals are decreasing visibility for investors and are a concern, " said Richard Withagen, analyst at Delta Lloyd Securities in Antwerp. Lloyd estimated that the €25m writedown will reduce Interbrew's full-year net profits by almost 5%.

However, other analysts were less surprised and concerned by the announcement and were encouraged by Interbrew's determination to deal with over-capacity. "They hinted at restructuring in the first-half release and we were expecting this type of follow-up," said Andrew Gowen of Lehman Brothers in London. "It's good practice to rationalize production."