Carlsberg wields axe

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CARLSBERG, the Danish brewer which sells beer with the boast that it is 'probably' the best lager in the world, is cutting its domestic workforce by one-third, writes Robert Cole.

The company is spending Dkr1.3m (about pounds 120m) on a major restructuring of its domestic brewing operations. About 900 of Carlsberg's 3,000 employees in Denmark will be made redundant.

The company is concentrating capacity at two plants, one in Copenhagen and the other at Fredericia in Jutland. The Fredericia plant has been earmarked for substantial modernisation.

The brewer is the third largest in Europe and also owns the Tuborg brand.

Poul Svanholm, chief executive, said: 'The restructuring will in a few years mean big savings in operating costs. Our competitiveness will be substantially stronger.'

The changes will have no effect on Carlsberg's British operation. It has a brewery in Northampton but has joined forces with Allied- Lyons, brewer of Tetley bitter.

Carlsberg-Tetley was the subject of a Monoplies and Mergers Commission report published last week. The MMC conditionally allowed the project to proceed.