Kirin Brewery Co has posted a healthy lift in Q1 sales.

The Japanese brewer said today (1 May) that revenue for the first three months of this year hit JPY378.01bn, against JPY350.1bn in the corresponding period a year earlier. Operating profit performed equally well in the period, reaching JPY16.92bn compared to JPY14.29bn.

For the full year, the company has forecast sales of JPY1.88 trillion, with operating profit set to total JPY121bn.

In the first quarter, Kirin edged back ahead of Asahi to lead its domestic beer and quasi-beer markets. The company accounted for 37.5% share, ahead of Asahi on 37.2%, according to a survey of the country's leading brewers.

Kirin credited strong sales of its 'The Gold' brand, launched in March, for the impressive quarter.

Kirin holds a 46.13% stake in Australian brewer Lion Nathan, as well as a 20.02% stake in Philippine brewer San Miguel Corp.