Kirin Brewery has said it wants to see a "quantum leap" from its business by 2015 and has embarked on an organisational overhaul of the company.

The first step was announced today (11 May) when the Japanese brewer revealed it wants to take full control of soft drink associate Kirin Beverage Corp, in which it holds a 59.4% stake.

Kirin said it hopes to consolidate its alcohol, soft drinks and other businesses under one holding company by next summer, a move it hopes will drive efficiencies across the group.
"The introduction of a holding company structure should enable a more strategic distribution of resources in line with each business' growth strategy and further unleash synergies between alcohol beverages and soft drinks," the company said.

The aim is to invest behind the Kirin brand, which can act as a "unifying force" for the group, the company said. Kirin also wants to generate 30% of sales and profits from markets outside Japan by 2015 and said it would "unleash synergies" through "collaboration" with San Miguel and Lion Nathan, in which Kirin holds shares.

Kirin today reported that first-quarter sales from its alcohol business rose 18% to JPY223.1bn (US$2.01bn) thanks to increased beer and happoshu - or low-malt beer - sales in Japan. Sales from Kirin Beverage Corp. rose 6% JPY77.8bn on the back of an increase in marketing activity. Group sales rose 12.4% to JPY350.1bn.