Carlsberg is set to halt operations at two of its 10 breweries in Russia due to economic downturn and tough market regulation, which have lowered sales in the country.

The shut down of Baltika-Chelyabinsk in Chelyabinsk and Baltika-Pikra in Krasnoyarsk is anticipated to reduce capacity by 15% in the country.

This closure will affect close to 600 employees. However, the closure will not have impact on 2014 operating profit or adjusted net result, the company said.

Commenting on the closure, Carlsberg’s Russian unit Baltika was quoted by Reuters as saying: "In the conditions of the continuing fall in the beer market, related to the difficult macroeconomic environment and unbalanced regulation and taxation, the company has decided to terminate activity of units in Chelyabinsk and Krasnoyarsk."

Carlsberg claims that the sales and distribution organisations will be maintained in the two cities but supplies will be sourced from the remaining eight Russian breweries.

As reported in Reuters, Carlsberg has been forced to operate most of its Russian operations at reduced capacity for many months and started idling plants last year.

Russian beer market has witnessed over 30% slump in sales since 2008 under pressure from regulations aimed at curbing alcoholism, reports Reuters.