Asahi Breweries Ltd. said Thursday its group fiscal 2002 midterm net profit soared due to smaller extraordinary losses, but a decline in sales has prompted it to lower consolidated earnings projections.

The brewery and beverage maker said consolidated net profit during the January-June first half soared 337.8 percent from a year earlier to 10.72 billion yen as its extraordinary loss declined. The group had a large loss a year earlier related to a shortfall in retirement reserves.

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