• Q1 net losses of JPY2.1bn (US$26m) vs profits of JPY6.1bn last year
  • Operating profits up by 38% to JPY32.9bn
  • Net sales rise by 10% to JPY488.9bn
  • Overseas beverages, medicine boosts sales but earthquake hits bottom line
Kirin Holdings Q1 profits wiped out by earthquake

Kirin Holdings' Q1 profits wiped out by earthquake

Kirin Holdings has sunk into the red for the first quarter of 2011, as Japan's major brewers reel from the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country in the period.

The Japanese brewer has this week reported net losses of JPY2.1bn (US$26m) for the three months to the end of March, versus profits of JPY6.1bn in the same period of 2010. Like rivals Sapporo and Asahi, Kirin was forced to report billions of yen in damage and lost business as a result of the earthquake that hit Japan's eastern coast on 11 March.

Kirin said that initial charges from the disaster totalled JPY5.1bn in the first quarter, enough to marr a healthy sales and operating performance from the group.

Net sales increased by 10% to JPY488.9bn, while operating profits leapt by 38% to JPY32.9bn, largely thanks to the group's overseas beverages businesses and higher sales of pharmaceuticals in the earthquake aftermath.

In Japan, Kirin's net sales of alcoholic drinks fell by around 8% during the quarter.

The group said that it is still too early to forecast the full impact of the earthquake on its financial performance in the full-year. However, it warned: "The Japanese economy had been rallying during the first quarter on the back of improvements in overseas economies, but the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake has resulted in strong downward pressure."

For the company announcement, click here.