UKRAINE – Danish multinational brewer, Carlsberg Group, has planned to invest 1.5 billion hryvnias (US$44 million) in Ukraine this year to increase its production capacity, a sign of faith to the country facing an epic struggle against Russian aggression.

The investment follows the launch of a new production line at its Kyiv brewery, which will increase the production capacity of canned products by 80%. Kyiv Brewery serves Ukrainian and foreign markets through exports of local power brands.

Brands such as Lvivske, Carlsberg, Kronenbourg 1664, Arsenal, Kvas Taras, Somersby, Seth & Riley’s Garage, Staropramen, Miller Genuine Draft, and Battery will be produced on the new production line, which has already been launched. Beer (alcoholic & non-alcoholic), cider, energy, and soft drinks are key products being bottled.

“The new production line allows the brewery to produce up to 40,000 beverage cans per hour. This line will optimize operations and meet consumer demand for canned products,” Oleh Khaidakin, managing director of Carlsberg Ukraine said.

“Sales in the US have increased by more than five times since the beginning of 2023, and in European markets, they have increased from 1.5 to four times in different countries. The company initially planned to install a new can line in its brewery in Zaporizhzhia (Eastern Ukraine), but after the start of the full-scale war, the strategy changed, and the new production line was installed at the Kyiv Brewery.”

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 2022, production at Carlsberg’s three breweries in Ukraine was suspended, but operations have gradually resumed over the last few months. Carlsberg Ukraine includes breweries in Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv, and Lviv.

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.

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 symbolic importance that goes far beyond the beverage industry in Ukraine.”

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