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Carlsberg Joins Rival Heineken In Quitting Russia, Faces Big Hit

Carlsberg will exit the Russian market and take a 'substantial' non-cash impairment charge, the Danish brewer said on Monday, the latest Western company to exit amid mounting pressure on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

'Orderly Transfer'

Dutch brewer Heineken also announced on Monday it had decided to exit its Russian business at a cost of €400 million ($438 million).

Heineken, which brews the Botsjkarev, Ochota en Tri Medvjedja brands in Russia, said it aimed for an 'orderly transfer' and that it would continue the business with reduced operations during a transition period to minimise the risk of nationalisation.

The company said it would guarantee the salaries of its 1,800 employees to the end of this year.

'Difficult And Immediate Decision'

"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," Carlsberg noted.

"Upon completion we will have no presence in Russia."

Carlsberg, the Western brewer most exposed to the Russian market, launched a strategic review of its Russian business this month but had kept its eight breweries in the country operating.

The decision to exit Russia would result in a 'substantial non-cash impairment charge' this year, it noted without providing further details.

Carlsberg had non-current assets in Russia worth 19.2 billion Danish crowns by the end of 2021, which amounts to around 15% of total assets or 44% of its total equity, its annual report showed.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more Drinks stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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