Kirin, Asahi log record sales in half

Kyodo

Japan’s two largest brewers reported record sales in the January-June half due partly to brisk sales of soft drinks.

Kirin Holdings Co. said Thursday its group sales for the six months rose 5.2 percent from the previous year to a record ¥1.10 trillion. Operating profit gained 5.6 percent to ¥60.42 billion, also boosted by the group’s liquor business in Australia.

Kirin’s group net profit rose to ¥59.67 billion, up 355.2 percent from a year earlier.

The company said the weaker yen provided a boost to the firms’ profits overseas when converted into the Japanese currency.

Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. said its group sales in the six-month period rose 9.9 percent from the year before to ¥780.75 billion as sales at its beverage business gained 30.9 percent after Asahi made Calpis Co., a leading maker of lactic acid beverages, a wholly owned subsidiary last October.

Asahi’s group operating profit rose 12.6 percent to ¥36.91 billion, but its group net profit fell 39.8 percent to ¥15.42 billion as the firm posted a large extraordinary gain in the year-earlier period.

Asahi revised upward its sales projection for the full business year through December to ¥1.72 trillion, up ¥3 billion from its earlier forecast. It did not revise its operating and net profit forecasts for the full year.