Schweppes drives Asahi Breweries sales rise

Schweppes drives Asahi Breweries sales rise

Asahi Breweries has maintained its forecast of a rise in profits in 2010, despite seeing earnings slip by a third in the first nine months of the year.

Restructuring charges caused net profits to slide by 37% for the nine months to the end of September, to JPY26.3bn (US$0.3bn), Asahi said today (29 October). Despite this, the Japanese group maintained its full-year guidance of a 9% rise in profits, originally issued in July.

Net sales rose by 1.5% to JPY1.09tn for the nine months, while operating profits jumped by 18% to JPY69.4bn. Domestic soft drinks sales and the Schweppes business in Australia drove sales during the period and helped to overshadow further decline in the firm's beer sales in Japan.

Domestic beer sales fell by 14% for the nine months, to JPY701bn, underlining the importance of Asahi's expansion overseas. The brewer owns 20% of China's Tsingtao Brewery, which recently reported sales up by 11% in the three months to the end of September.

Asahi has also strengthened its hand in Australian soft drinks by signing a deal to acquire P&N Beverages.

For the full Asahi nine-month figures, click here.