Carlsberg is targeting more acqusitions in Asia as it seeks to further reduce its reliance on sluggish beer markets in Western Europe, the brewer's CEO has told just-drinks.

Jørgen Buhl Rasmussen said today (5 April) that Carlsberg is "always looking" for acquisition opportunities in emerging markets. "If we invest, then it's very likely to be in the Asian continent," he said in an interview following the launch of a global marketing campaign for the Carlsberg brand.

However, Carlsberg's appetite at the mergers and acquisitions table has its limits. While the group is seeking to take part in any further brewing industry consolidation, Rasmussen added: "This doesn't necessarily mean that we want to be [world] number one, two or even three, as long as we are strong in the regions where we are."

He said that Carlsberg doesn't need to have a strong presence in emerging markets like Latin America in order to be successful.

Asia remains a junior partner in the Carlsberg portfolio, compared with the brewer's strong presence in Western Europe and Russia. However, as beer consumption continues to decline across much of Western Europe, the group is seeking new avenues for growth.

Rasmussen hinted that brewery closures remained a possibility for Carlsberg in Western Europe. "Beer as a category is not growing," he said, adding: "We have to look at how we can be efficient to be competitive."