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Carlsberg CFO to step down

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FILE PHOTO: A logo of Carlsberg beer is seen on the entrance of a pub in Brussels
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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Carlsberg on Wednesday announced the departure of Chief Financial Officer Heine Dalsgaard, who had a leading role in a major cost-cutting programme to stem its losses in Russia.

Shares in the world's third-biggest brewer fell 2.2% at 0945 GMT, underperforming Copenhagen's benchmark index which fell 1.4%.

"This is disappointing for Carlsberg, as CFO Dalsgaard has been instrumental in driving efficiencies in the past years," Kepler analyst Richard Withagen said in a research note.

"We had expected CEO Cees ‘t Hart to step down as Carlsberg moves into the next phase of its strategy. This could now be delayed," he added.

Carlsberg will start the search for a new CFO while Dalsgaard will continue in Carlsberg until Dec. 31 at the latest, it said in a statement.

It entered the Russian market when it bought the Baltika beer brand in 2008 but the Russian growth adventure never took off and Carlsberg has for more than a decade fought tough sales amid a weak and sanction-hit economy and regulations to curb alcohol abuse.

Carlsberg, the Western brewer most exposed to the Russian market, joined rivals Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken in seeking to withdraw from Russia after Moscow invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen, editing by Terje Solsvik and Louise Heavens)

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