Kirin Brewery Co. has today (7 February) outlined plans to consolidate its alcohol, soft drinks and other businesses under one holding company.

The Japanese group, which has interests in beer, soft drinks and wine, said its businesses would be transferred under an umbrella company, Kirin Holdings Co., by July.

The news came as Kirin published its full-year financial figures for 2006. The company's group operating profit rose by 4.2% year-on-year to JPY116.4bn (US$964.3m) from Y111.71bn in 2005.

Kirin saw domestic beer sales leap almost 5%, a robust performance in a declining market.

Under its company restructuring, Kirin said company executive Senji Miyake will lead Kirin's domestic beverage alcohol business, which includes its brewing arm and wine subsidiary Mercian Corp Kirin Beverage. The company's soft drinks arm, will be run as a separate entity under Kirin Holdings Co.

The company's international beverage alcohol operations, which include its stakes in Lion Nathan and Philippines conglomerate San Miguel Corp., will also be run as a separate business under the holding structure.

The restructuring is part of the company's plans to focus on the Kirin brand, boost group earnings and generate 30% of sales and profits from markets outside Japan by 2015.

Kirin plans to spend JPY250bn (US$2.1bn) on capital investments between 2007 and 2009. Kirin has set a further JPY300bn aside for investments to "secure a new growth trajectory", including acquisitions.