The process of turning Scottish and Newcastle into an international brewer is going to be a tough one. The City was less than impressed with its full year results announced this week and the gloss was knocked off the share price. The possibility of the last major UK owned beer business being a takeover target was also raised. Major players including Heineken, Anheuser-Busch and South African Breweries are still in the wings as potential bidders. But City opinion is of the view that in the short term they will not move in, and that it is more likely S&N will go on the acquisition trail. The group posted pretax profit of £262m (down 18%) on turnover of £3.58bn (up 8%) for the year to the end of April. City analyst Nigel Popham of Teather Greenwood said: "I am not sure they will stay in the pub business in the long term. They see their focus in international brewing, hence the deal with Kronenbourg. "When they move overseas they will find it tough. They are relatively small compared with Heineken or Interbrew." Chief executive Brian Stewart said: "The accelerating pace of change is a challenge for us, but we are confident the platform for growth is being established." S&N's beer division, Scottish Courage outperformed the market. Its volume sales were up 1% in a sector down 0.5%. Take home volumes grew by 11.3% against a market up 7.6%. {{NEWS }}