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Heineken and Carlsberg to pull out of Russia after Ukraine invasion

The two brewing giants had previously said they would halt new investments and exports to Russia.

28 March 2022

Beer giants Carlsberg and Heineken said they plan to pull out of Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Dutch brewing giant Heineken said on Monday that the move would cost it about 400 million euros (£334 million), Denmark’s Carlsberg said it would calculate the cost later.

Carlsberg said it made 682 million Danish kroner (£77 million) in operating profit from Russia last year. It employs 8,400 people there.

Both companies had previously said they would halt new investments and exports to Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine.

However, on Monday they confirmed they will now join a raft of Western consumer brands in leaving Russia completely.

Heineken said in a statement: “Following the previously announced strategic review of our operations, we have concluded that Heineken’s ownership of the business in Russia is no longer sustainable nor viable in the current environment.

“As a result, we have decided to leave Russia.

“We aim for an orderly transfer of our business to a new owner in full compliance with international and local laws.”

Heineken added that it will continue with its recent reduced operations during the transition period as it seeks to “minimise” the risk of the business being nationalised.

It added that it will guarantee the salaries of its 1,800 workers in Russia will be paid until the end of 2022.

Heineken stressed it will “not profit” from any sale deal and expects impairment charges to total 400 million euros (£334 million).

“We continue to hope that a path to a peaceful outcome emerges in the near term,” the company added.

Carlsberg, which runs Russia’s largest brewer, Baltika, said: “The war in Ukraine, and the escalating humanitarian and refugee crisis, shocks us all.

“We continue to strongly condemn the Russian invasion, which has led to so much loss of life, devastation and human tragedy.

“On March 9 we announced a strategic review of the Carlsberg Group’s presence in Russia.

“Based on this review, we have taken the difficult and immediate decision to seek a full disposal of our business in Russia, which we believe is the right thing to do in the current environment.

“Upon completion we will have no presence in Russia.”

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