Carlsberg Breweries A/S, owned by Danish beer maker Carlsberg A/S (CARLB), was assigned a Baa3 long-term senior unsecured issuer rating by Moody's Investors Service with a ``stable'' outlook.
Moody's analyzed the Carlsberg group as a whole, as well as Carlsberg Breweries' business profile, according to a statement released today on the credit-rating company's news wire. Baa3, is the lowest investment grade rating offered by Moody's long- term debt rating.
The Danish brewer, which makes Tuborg and Baltika beers, is shutting Western European breweries and selling real estate as people in the region drink less beer. To fuel growth, Carlsberg has been expanding in Eastern Europe and Russia, where beer drinking is on the increase. Baltic Beverages Holding AB, a brewer in Russia and other Eastern European countries, is controlled by Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle Plc.
The Baa3 rating reflects credit strengths including the company's dominance of the Nordic region and its leading position in Russia, and the diversification of its brand portfolio, Moody's said in the statement.
The rating also reflects challenges such as the stagnation of beer volumes in countries such as Germany and the U.K., the low level of profitability of the sector and Carlsberg's increasing exposure to emerging markets.
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