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Leading brewers Sapporo Holdings Ltd. and Asahi Breweries Ltd. said Friday they have lowered their earnings projections for the current business year due to slower-than-expected sales of beerlike alcoholic beverages.

In Sapporo’s revised group earnings projection for the year to Dec. 31, the firm expects a net profit of 4.8 billion, yen down 3.2 billion yen from the forecast released in February, on sales of 462.0 billion, yen down 20 billion yen.

Sales of “happoshu” low-malt beers are expected to drop 40 percent from the previous year, compared with a 17 percent fall forecast in February, Sapporo said.

Asahi lowered its net-profit prediction to 36.0 billion yen from 41.0 billion yen and sales to 1.385 trillion yen from 1.455 trillion, yen reflecting slow sales of beerlike drinks known as “third-category” beers.

In the January-June first half of the business year, Asahi posted a net profit of 19.01 billion, yen up 23.0 percent over a year earlier, on a 1.3 percent rise in sales to 656.61 billion yen.

Sapporo saw a net loss of 5.29 billion yen with sales falling 7.0 percent to 208.69 billion yen.

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