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19 December, 2013 07:20 AM Source: Lanka Business Online - LBO

Fitch Ratings has confirmed a 'AAA(lka)' rating of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka with a stable outlook.

Fitch said it had a strong market share of 60 percent for local alcohol production but was vulnerable to illicit products amid tax hikes.
Potential debt funded acquisitions change the group's risk profile.

"The company has historically actively pursued acquisition," Fitch said.

"While it has not indicated it is pursuing specific acquisitions, the group recently restructured to consolidate its non-beverage assets under investment holding company Mesltacorp Limited, which will likely allow management to better focus on the group's other segments.

"Potential risks could stem from debt-funded acquisitions that could weaken the group's balance sheet in the near term with benefits accruing potentially only over the longer term.

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