Kirin will up its annual dividend payout this year. The Japanese brewer said today that it would raise its payout to 13 yen per share, an increase from the planned 12 yen for 2003.

Last month, the company announced a rise in sales during last year of 9% to 170.3m cases. Kirin expects operating profit for calendar 2003 to hit a record 100 billion yen (US$948.3m).

The brewer is due to announce its full-year results on Thursday. In 2002, Kirin posted an operating profit of Y15.29 billion on sales of Y319.2 billion.