The Japanese brewer Kirin Brewery has seen its full year operating profit jump by 13% to ¥101.56 billion from ¥89.79 billion the year before.

Group sales rose 0.9% to ¥1.598 trillion from ¥1.583 trillion. However, sales in the alcoholic beverage division fell 2.3% to ¥1,045.4 billion as beer sales fell. Net profit slipped 0.4% to ¥32.40 billion as the company incurred some restructuring costs.

Kirin's sales in the soft-drinks division rose 4.9% to ¥359.62 billion in 2003.

For the current year Kirin is predicting record group operating profit of ¥106 billion, up 4.3% from 2003. It expects group net profit to jump 33% to ¥43 billion, with 6.4% growth in group sales to ¥1.7 trillion.

Kirin also said it plans an annual dividend of ¥13 a share for 2004, up from ¥12 for 2003.