JAPAN: Sapporo losses narrow despite sales fall
Japan's third-largest brewer Sapporo today (4 August) saw its first-half losses narrow on the year, despite falling sales.
Sapporo posted a net loss of JPY3.9bn (US$34.1m) for the six months to the end of June. The result compared to a loss of JPY5.2bn last year. However, the brewer saw sales fall 4% to JPY200.1bn.
Sapporo has seen its sales of so-called "third-category" beers slump in recent months despite being the first to launch a brand in the segment in 2004.
Demand for "third-category" beers has soared in Japan due to the lower taxes levied on the products. "Third-category" beers are made from ingredients such as bean protein and caramel and are not classified as beer, so escaping higher taxes.
Competition in the category is tough with rival brewer Asahi this week revealing it was to expand its presence in the segment with the launch of a new brand in October.
The largest shareholder in Sapporo Holdings has taken issue with the Japanese group's plans to avoid a hostile takeover, according to local reports....
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Sapporo Beverage Co. is considering dissolving its contract to sell drinks made by food and drinks maker Fujiya Co., according to local reports....
Asahi has managed to hold on to the top spot in the Japanese beer market, despite a dip in sales volumes, according to local reports....
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Asahi Breweries is targeting a slight increase on its forecast sales volumes for next year....
Asahi Breweries has handed the responsibility of selling and distributing flagship brand Asahi Super Dry in the UK over to local partner Shepherd Neame....
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