• Q1 net profits down 95% to JPY614m (US$5.7m)
  • Net sales up 2% to JPY380.2bn
  • Operating profits climb 6% to JPY11.5bn
  • Overseas sales slip 9%
Asahi agreed to buy the SABMiller brands this month

Asahi agreed to buy the SABMiller brands this month

Asahi's overseas businesses have posted a drop in Q1 sales ahead of the Japanese brewer's takeover of SABMiller's European beer brands.

Overseas sales slipped 9% to JPY58.4bn (US$539m) Asahi said today. Operating profits for the segment, which includes sales of Asahi Super Dry in global markets, Schweppes Australia and a 20% share in Tsingtao, were down 9% to JPY2.9bn.

This month, Anheuser-Busch InBev accepted Asahi's offer to acquire SABMiller's European premium brands - Meantime Brewing Co, Peroni Nastro Azzuro and Grolsch. The Japanese group's offer was first announced in February.

Today, Asahi said it expects the takeover to complete in the second half of the year, but the brewer and soft drinks maker must wait for global regulators to give the green light to the US$107bn deal for AB InBev to acquire SABMiller. It hopes the acquisition will expand its European platform and help increase the presence of Asahi Super Dry.

In overall Q1 results, Asahi's net profits fell 95% to JPY614m on one-offs and currency headwinds. Net sales were up 2% to JPY380.2bn and operating profits climbed 6% to JPY11.5bn.  Asahi also runs a food unit but sales account for less than a tenth of the total.

Alcoholic beverage sales were up 5% to JPY195.3m and soft drinks sales edged up 3% to JPY96.7bn.

Beer shipments in Japan reportedly fell 1% to 39.3m cases in Q1 figures released this month. Kirin Brewery was the most affected, with shipments down 11%.