The soft drinks arm of Japanese drinks group Asahi Breweries has posted its figures for 2006.

Asahi Soft Drinks said yesterday (6 February) that sales for the year came in 6.4% up on 2005 at JPY231.6bn (US$1.9bn). Operating profit held steady, up to JPY10.1bn from JPY9.55bn.

Looking forward, Asahi Soft Drinks forecast sales reaching JPY241bn for the full year. Net profit in 2007 should come in at around JPY5.3bn.

Late last year, the unit's parent company, Asahi Breweries confirmed that it will transfer most of its soft drinks operations to sister company LB Co. Asahi bought LB in 2005.

Asahi Soft Drinks outsources production of chilled drinks and sells the beverages through wholesalers. This operation will fall to LB, but Asahi Soft Drinks will still oversee around 1,000 vending machines across the nation, local reports claimed.