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Carlsberg Counts on Russia

COPENHAGEN ?€” Carlsberg said the Russian market, which accounts for a third of group sales, will this year improve after suffering big tax hikes on beer in 2010, high inflation levels and regulatory headwinds, chief executive Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen said.

"As an underlying trend we will see our [Russian] market share growing in 2012," Rasmussen said last week.

The group's sales of its No. 1 Russian brand Baltika weakened after the government cracked down on beer-drinking to tackle alcoholism, including a 200 percent increase in excise tax in January 2010.

In late October, Carlsberg announced that it was replacing the head of its Russian unit, Baltika Breweries, with Isaac Sheps, formerly in charge of Carlsberg UK, to focus on three main areas ?€” earnings, market share and cash generation.

(Reuters)

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