August 29, 2014 / 9:29 AM / 6 years ago

Major Carlsberg shareholder cuts stake

Bottles of Carlsberg beer are seen in a bar in St. Petersburg June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The largest fund shareholder in Carlsberg (CARLb.CO), which has proven vulnerable to deteriorating conditions in Russia and has lowered its 2014 guidance, has cut its stake in the company by a quarter, the brewer said on Friday.

Carlsberg said Oppenheimer Funds’ (OPY.N) stake in the company is now 4.78 percent, down from 6.42 percent.

Carlsberg said this month that it expected full-year operating profit to decline by a low-to-mid-single-digit percentage compared with previous guidance of growth of low single-digit growth.

Its share price fell almost 7 percent to as low as 502 Danish crowns on Aug. 20 when it announced second-quarter results and cut its forecast. On Friday the shares were trading half a percent up at 525 crowns.

The beer seller derives 35 percent of its operating profit from Russia, where its Baltika label is the most popular beer brand. However, sales have been falling as the economy slows, in part because of Western sanctions over Moscow’s stance on Ukraine.

Carlsberg’s dependence on Russia makes it a test case for how European companies are coping with the chill in Moscow’s relations with the European Union.

Reporting by Shida Chayesteh; Editing by David Goodman

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