DENMARK: Carlsberg debt restricts purchases, looks east
Carlsberg has ruled out any future acquisitions in the US, Spain or France.
In an interview yesterday (17 May), the brewer's chief executive, Nils S Andersen, said that Carlsberg's debt weighs too heavily to enter markets where it has little exposure, but the company would consider purchases in western China and Vietnam.
The brewer is in a position to make more acquisitions in markets that it is already present in and is prepared to take a few gambles in areas such as western China and Vietnam. Andersen told Danish newspaper Borsen. "But we can't go out and conquer the world," he added.
When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for Carlsberg confirmed the comments, adding that the company is prepared to take risks, but only in emerging markets. "We're now involved in 20 breweries in China and two in Vietnam," the spokesperson said. "There are no changes to be made (in our position in the countries) but we still consider the two markets as important emerging markets."
The spokesperson added that Carlsberg was not expecting reasonable returns from its Asian interests until around 2013 and 2015. "Future growth for us is more likely to come from emerging markets," the spokesperson said.
When asked whether Carlsberg would be interested in Foster's brewing interests in the area, however, the spokesperson declined to comment.
Earlier this month, Carlsberg, posted a first-quarter operating profit of DKK83m (US$14.2m), a turnaround on a loss of DKK22m for the corresponding quarter a year earlier.
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