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Drinks

Brewer Carlsberg Suspends Guidance, Cites Uncertainty In Russia

Danish brewer Carlsberg has suspended guidance for 2022 due to uncertainty about the large Russian market and said it had begun a strategic review of its business in the country.

"The future is highly unpredictable and we are reviewing a full range of strategic options for our Russian business," chief executive Cees 't Hart said in a statement. Last year, the company generated around 13% of its sales in Russia and Ukraine.

The uncertain situation in both countries would hurt financial results for 2022, and its assets in both markets may also be subject to non-cash impairment and write-down, Carlsberg said.

"Due to the very high uncertainty related to Ukraine and Russia and the possible indirect impact on the rest of the group, we do not consider it prudent to provide guidance for 2022," 't Hart said.

Tough Competition In Russia

Carlsberg has struggled with tough competition in Russia, its main Eastern European market, since it took control of Baltika, the country's largest beer brand, in 2008.

It halted operations at its three breweries in Ukraine last month, after Russia began a military invasion of the country that Moscow has called a "special operation."

Carlsberg would keep operating its eight breweries in Russia, where it has around 8,400 employees, although it would cease all advertising and stop selling its flagship Carlsberg beer brand.

The company said last week it would halt new investments into Russia and suspend exports of beer and other beverages to the country.

In February of this year, Carlsberg has said that it expects organic growth in operating profit to fall short of last year's levels, after the Danish firm posted fourth-quarter sales above expectations.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest Drinks news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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