* Carlsberg appoints Christopher Warmoth new Asia head
* Asia growth not enough to counteract weak sales in Europe
* Expected to make acquisitions -analysts
* Brewer to report fall in operating profit and revenue on
(Recasts, adds market share of rivals, analyst comment, share
By Mette Fraende
COPENHAGEN, Nov 12 Danish brewer Carlsberg
has appointed former Heinz executive Christopher
Warmoth as head of its Asia business to aim for a bigger share
of the high-growth market to offset weak beer sales in
recession-hit western Europe.
Asia has become the main battle ground for the world's
biggest brewers, such as Carlsberg, AB InBev, SABMiller
and Heineken, which are relying on growing
middle classes in emerging markets to compensate for sluggish
sales Europe and the United States.
Warmoth's appointment comes a day before the brewer reports
third-quarter earnings, which are expected to show a fall in
revenue and operating profit, showing that its progress in Asia
so far is not yet enough to counteract sales hit by poor weather
and a grinding economic downturn in Europe.
"His most important role will be to grow Carlsberg in Asia
and carry out potential acquisitions to generate as much growth
as possible," said Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard.
Asia accounts for roughly 20 percent of Carlsberg's revenue,
with sales up 10 percent in the previous quarter, albeit lagging
While Carlsberg has the leading market share in the smaller
Asian markets of Nepal, Laos and Sri Lanka, its presence in
larger markets is dwarfed by that of its bigger rivals. China,
the world's largest beer market by volume, is dominated by
SABMiller, while Heineken is the leader in
India, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Carlsberg is hoping the 54-year old British national can
replicate the type of deals he presided over in Asia during his
10 years at Heinz. Heinz acquired Foodstar in China, a maker of
soy sauce, for $165.4 million in 2010, and it bought the
remaining 21 percent it did not own of a China subsidiary that
makes infant formula.
"He brings a wealth of valuable experience from
multinational fast moving consumer goods companies," Chief
Executive Jorgen Rasmussen said. "He has also led extensive
change and capability programs."
In April, Rasmussen said that the new Asia head would need
commercial and merger and acquisition qualifications.
Rasmussen has himself been heading the Asia region since Roy
Bagattini resigned in June to take up a position at Levi Strauss
& Company. Bagattini ran the Asia division since
But recent high deal multiples would likely make any
Heineken paid a mammoth 35 times trailing earnings for
control of Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd last year.
Another challenge for Warmoth will be to increase earnings
by convincing consumers to switch from the cheaper local beer
brands in its portfolio to the pricier premium brands, such as
its Carlsberg, Tuborg and Baltika beers.
"Here, he will be able to draw on his experience from
Heinz," Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard said.
Shares in Carlsberg were little changed at 1352 GMT, in line
with the Copenhagen stock exchange's benchmark index
(Additional reporting by Martinne Geller in London, editing by
Sophie Walker and Louise Heavens)