Japan: Asahi Group aims to halve its debt and refrain from large-scale acquisitions after buying Australia assets
Japans Asahi Group Holdings said it will aim to halve its debt and forego overseas investments after spending $11 billion to buy the Australian operations of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Reuters reported on April 9.
Basically, we are not considering any large-scale acquisitions, said Atsushi Katsuki, who became Asahis new chief executive in March.
The owner of brands including Asahi Super Dry, Peroni and Pilsner Urquell will aim to reduce its debt to EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) to three times from six at the end of December.
Asahi won regulatory approval last year to buy the Australian brands Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) after agreeing to sell other assets in the country. Katsuki previously led Asahis operations in Australia and Oceania before becoming its chief financial officer in 2019.In mature markets like Japan and Europe, Katsuki told Reuters he wanted to premiumize products: selling drinks at higher prices as shrinking populations mean that high volume sales may no longer be possible.
In Japan, Asahi has been hit harder than rivals by the COVID-19 pandemic due to its dependence on keg sales to restaurants and bars - many of which have struggled amid the prolonged crisis. Even so, the company in February forecast its full-year operating profit will exceed levels seen in 2019.
E-malt.com, the global information source for the brewing and malting industry professionals. The bi-weekly E-malt.com Newsletters feature latest industry news, statistics in graphs and tables, world barley and malt prices, and other relevant information. Click here to get full access to E-malt.com. If you are a Castle Malting client, you can get free access to E-malt.com website and publications. Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org .