February 16, 2017
TOKYO- All four major Japanese brewers saw their group operating profits increase in the business year that ended in December, according to their latest financial statements.
Sluggish beer sales were more than offset by brisk sales of nonalcoholic drinks at all companies except Sapporo Holdings Ltd.
In particular, Suntory Holdings Ltd. logged a record operating profit of 197.9 billion yen, up 7.0 pct from the previous year, thanks to strong demand for the “Tennensui” mineral water product and whiskies. In contrast, beer sales declined. The company plans to make utmost efforts for a beer business turnaround, Suntory President Takeshi Niinami said.
Kirin’s operating profit rose 13.7 pct to 141.8 billion yen, as sales of the “Namacha” bottled green tea and other nonalcoholic drinks were strong while beer and quasi-beer products failed to post sales jumps.
Meanwhile, Kirin booked an all-time net profit of 118.1 billion yen, due chiefly to gains from the sale of a plant, after plunging into the red the previous year.
Asahi Group Holdings Co. saw its operating profit soar 41.7 pct to 136.8 billion yen. Although its mainstay “Super Dry” beer products fared poorly, quasi-beer sales were strong. Its earnings were also pushed up by sales at European beer makers it acquired in October.
Sapporo’s operating profit went up 45.3 pct to 20.2 billion yen, thanks to hefty sales of the “Black Label” beer series. Other operations, such as the real estate business, also contributed to the profit growth. (Jiji Press)
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