E-Malt.com News article: 678
Fitch Ratings affirms the 'A-' senior unsecured foreign and local currency ratings of Compania Cervecerias Unidas S.A. (CCU). These ratings are supported by the company's dominant position in the Chilean beer market and its conservative capital structure.
The product and geographic diversification of the company's cash flow from operations further support the ratings. Fitch believes the company will continue to dominate this industry due to its modern production facilities, its extensive direct distribution system, its diversified portfolio of beer products and the broad appeal of its flagship brand Cristal.
The cash flow generated by this division provides stability to the company's credit protection measures. During 2002, 39% of the company's consolidated revenues and 56% of its consolidated cash operating profits (EBITDA) were generated by its Chilean beer division. During 2002, ECUSA and VSP accounted for 27% and 15%, respectively, of the company's consolidated EBITDA.
CCU's smallest business unit continues to be its Argentine beer unit. These ratios are in-line with the long-term credit targets articulated by the company at the end of 2001. They remain consistent with ratios maintained by the company between 1997 and 2001, and are consistent with the 'A-' rating category.
20 February, 2003