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Announcement:

Moody's: SABMiller's stronger credit metrics and growing markets' leadership account for credit advantage over Heineken

12 Nov 2014

Milan, November 12, 2014 -- The gap in creditworthiness of Europe two largest brewers, Heineken N.V. (Baa1 stable) and SABMiller Plc (Baa1 positive), has widened over the past three years, with the positive pressure on SABMiller's ratings mainly driven by stronger credit metrics, says Moody's Investors Service in a report published today.

The report titled "Heineken vs. SABMiller - A comparison of the two largest brewers in Europe", is now available on www.moodys.com. Moody's subscribers can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press release.

"SABMiller stronger credit metrics compared to those of Heineken are the main drivers behind the positive pressure on SABMiller's ratings", said Paolo Leschiutta, Moody's Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

SABMiller displays higher margins and lower financial leverage compared with Heineken. Heineken's margins are affected by its exposure to Europe and its distribution activities, while SABMiller benefits from higher profitability in Latin American and Africa. In addition, SABMiller started reducing its debt burden in 2011 after its acquisition of Foster's, while Heineken acquired Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) a year later, and in Moody's view its deleveraging has been behind expectation owing to the challenging operating environment in Western Europe.

In Moody's view SABMiller's current business profile is slightly better than that of Heineken, in light of SABMiller's leadership positions in growing markets, notwithstanding Heineken's stronger brands portfolio.

Both players have been able to deliver strong growth in the past four years. This has been supported by higher organic growth for SABMiller, mainly driven by increasing beer consumption (and possibly high inflation) in developing markets, partially offset by the higher negative effect of local currency volatility, especially in the last fiscal year. However, Heineken has displayed more stable performance on a reported basis, benefitting from its innovation capability and higher share in premium and mature markets.

SABMiller and Heineken both have a stable financial policy, although acquisitions remain on their agenda, with an ongoing increase in dividends to shareholders, compensated by a strong commitment to reducing financial leverage. Overall, in Moody's opinion M&A-related event risk remains higher for SABMiller as its current credit metrics offer more flexibility.

Subscribers can access the report via this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_1000196

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: London +44-20-7772-5456, New York +1-212-553-0376, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Paolo Leschiutta
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Italia S.r.l
Corso di Porta Romana 68
Milan 20122
Italy
Telephone:+39-02-9148-1100

Eric de Bodard
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Italia S.r.l
Corso di Porta Romana 68
Milan 20122
Italy
Telephone:+39-02-9148-1100

Moody's: SABMiller's stronger credit metrics and growing markets' leadership account for credit advantage over Heineken
No Related Data.
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