Production at Carlsberg's three breweries in Ukraine was suspended in 2022, but operations have gradually resumed over the last few months. Now, the new line in Kiev will 'optimize operations, meet consumer demand, and increase the manufacture of products in tin cans by 80%'.
Responding to Carlsberg's 2023 investment announcement, Ole Egberg Mikkelsen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Denmark to Ukraine, said the new production line has a 'symbolic importance' in representing that a global player and industry leader has faith in investing in Ukraine despite the conflict.
“This is an event of historical significance," he said. "It is one of the largest foreign investments in Ukraine in 2023. This new production line has a symbolic importance that goes far beyond the beverage industry in Ukraine."
Second largest player in Ukraine beer market
Carlsberg Group started its operations in Ukraine in 1996. In 2020, it had a 30% market share in the country, making it the second largest player. Over the years, Carlsberg Ukraine has invested over €1bn in the country.
In its Q1 results in April this year, Carlsberg reported that its business in Ukraine remained ‘heavily impacted’ by the war. However, it did report a recovery from 2022: volumes grew by more than 50% on the back of last year’s closure of the breweries, although remained some 15% below pre-war levels.
Carlsberg Ukraine includes breweries in Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv and Lviv. Operations at all three breweries were suspended in 2022, but operations have been gradually resumed over the spring this year.
The company employs over 1,350 staff, and is one of the top 25 taxpayers in Ukraine. It also estimates it supports 20,000 jobs in related industries, such as hospitality, agriculture and logistics. In another sign of long-term investment, it announced a two-year internship program in Ukraine, which will begin in September this year.
In 2022, Carlsberg announced its decision to seek a full disposal of its Russian business. In April, it confirmed it was ‘progressing with the complicated task of divesting the business’.