Suntory Food & Beverage is to hold off on acquisitions for the next year, its CEO has said in an interview.

Chief executive and president Nobuhiro Torii told Bloomberg the listed Suntory unit, which in September struck a deal to buy the Lucozade and Ribena brands from GlaxoSmithKline, will focus on existing operations. Torii also said he wants to integrate past deals.

Speaking about acquisitions, Torii said today (6 December): "I don't think we have enough capacity or ability to pursue another opportunity at this point. At least I have to take a break for 12 months. If we deliver the plan in the next year, then our financial capability will grow."

Suntory Food & Beverage raised US$3.9bn in an IPO in October. The company, which is the soft drinks and food unit of Suntory Holdings, had said it will use part of the money to buy overseas targets. 

Torii also said Suntory Food & Beverage must stabilise its business and strengthen existing operations ahead of a sales tax increase in Japan in April. Torii said the increase, from 5% to 8% will intensify competition in the country.