According to a report in Germany, the Danish brewer, Carlsberg, has said it is not interested in acquiring the German brewer, Brau und Brunnen (B&B).

The newspaper, Handelsblatt, said that Carlsberg had ruled out the move because the brewer was not profitable enough.

The report suggested that Carlsberg's CEO, Nils Smedegaard Andersen, had said that Brau und Brunnen did not meet the company's profit criteria of an operating margin of 8% and a return on equity of 12% to 15%.

Interest has been sparked in Brau und Brunnen since it was announced that the German banking group, HVB, was looking for a buyer for its 55% stake in the brewer. Carlsberg had been reported in May to be looking at the possibility of acquiring the company.

The report went on to say that Brau und Brunnen chairman, Michael Hollmann, expects the company to move back into the black in 2004 and that SABMiller and S&N would be its preferred options as international partners.