THAILAND: Moody's predicts good times for ThaiBev
Analysts at Moody's believe that ThaiBev's debt refinancing and acquisition of Serm Suk have positioned it to prosper, following a solid showing in 2011.
This week, ThaiBev reported a 12% rise in net profits a 10% increase in net sales for its 2011 full-year. A strong showing for spirits outshone weak domestic demand for beer and flood damage caused to the soft drinks business.
"This [result] primarily reflects the continued solid performance from its key earnings contributor, the spirits segment, which accounted for 98% of FY2011 EBITDA," said Moody's VP and senior analyst, Annalisa Di Chiara. Reaffirming the agency's baa2 rating on the Chang brewer's stock, she said that the future looks bright.
In particular, Moody's highlighted expected benefits of ThaiBev's acquisition of Serm Suk, "including expanding its non-alcoholic product portfolio, broadening its logistical network, and establishing an efficient returnable bottle system".
Following the Serm Suk deal in October 2011, ThaiBev's debt doubled to US$602m, it said. But, Moody's appeared unconcerned.
"While debt levels increased significantly, ThaiBev has reduced its reliance on short-term debt by terming out the acquisition-related debt and improving its debt structure to match the duration risk," said Di Chiara. "The company also remains strongly aligned with its Baa peers with total debt/EBITDA below 1x at year-end."
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