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Sapporo Breweries Ltd. said Friday it has lowered its consolidated earnings projections for its 2002 business year, which ended Dec. 31, due to falling sales of beer and “happoshu,” as well as appraisal losses on its stockholdings.

The brewer said it will post a group net profit of 1.6 billion yen and a group pretax profit of 2.2 billion yen, on sales of 512 billion yen.

This new net profit figure is lower than initial projections by 500 million yen, the pretax figure by 1.9 billion yen and the sales figure by 10 billion yen.

Sapporo Breweries said sales at the parent firm are likely to fall short of earlier projections by around 10 billion yen, as sales of its beer and happoshu low-malt beverages declined.

It is also likely to see about 3.6 billion yen in appraisal losses on its stockholdings.

The brewer said, however, that these negative factors will be offset by cost-cutting and asset-selling maneuvers and that the parent firm will actually report higher pretax and net profits.

But on a consolidated basis, reduced profitability in water products and falling restaurant sales weighed heavily, it said. In the previous business year, the Sapporo Breweries group posted a net profit of 4.39 billion yen.

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