JAPAN: Kirin battle weighs on Asahi earnings
Asahi today (6 February) posted operating profit of JPY88.7bn (US$738.6m), down from JPY90.2bn a year earlier. Net sales inched up 1.1% to JPY1.4 trillion.
However, Asahi, which leads the Japanese beer market in terms of shipments, said net profit had risen 12% to JPY44.8bn due to a fall in losses from the sale of production equipment.
The company, which also has interests in the soft drinks sector, spent 2006 battling it out with Kirin for leadership of Japan's beer market. Asahi hung on to top spot, despite its beer sales falling 3.1% to around 188m cases.
Separately, Asahi also announced that it plans to adopt a so-called "poison pill" defence against any possible takeover.
The plan would allow Asahi to issue extra shares if a hostile bidder tried to buy more than 20% of the company.
Japan has led the way in functional drinks and as market maturity and demographics have slowed sales, manufacturers have continued to innovate imaginatively. Jeanette Bengtsson, soft drinks manager at...
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