JAPAN: Sapporo sees first rise in market share for five years
Sapporo Breweries, the last of Japan's big four brewers to report its 2001 figures, said today it had posted a 0.7% rise in sales of beer and low-malt "happoshu". It also said that sales were forecast to extend to a 2% rise in 2002.
Sapporo's figures mean it maintains its position as the country's third largest brewer with an estimated 15% share of the market. Although the company still trails leaders Kirin and Asahi, the results did constitute the first rise in market share for the company in five years.
Official figures for the brewing sector in Japan are expected to be released in the next few weeks.
With competition toughening in the Japanese market, many are predicting a price war between the main brewers. The prospect was made all the more real this week when Kirin introduced a discount-priced happoshu.
But talking at a news conference Sapporo president Tatsushi Iwana said the company was not interested in a price war.
"Just because a new, cheaper product has been introduced, does that mean we will all have to lower our prices? I don't see that happening. But if there is a big shift in the industry, I suppose we will have to adjust accordingly," he said.
Sapporo Breweries has said it aims to almost triple operating profit within three years....
Falling sales of traditional beers and increased competition in the "third beer" category have seen Sapporo Holdings report a 22% fall in 2005 net profits....
Sapporo Holdings has lowered its full-year profit forecast....
Sapporo Breweries has reportedly become the first major Japanese beer maker to warn of flat domestic beer sales this year....
Sapporo Breweries is poised to buy Kikkoman Corp.'s spirits sales and production operations....
Sapporo Breweries has said that sales its of so-called "third category" beer would fall by 30% if the government goes ahead with plans to raise the tax rate on the product....
Sapporo Holdings has registered a massive drop in operating profit for the first nine months of this year....
Sapporo Breweries has raised its sales targets for its low-alcoholic fruit drink brand "Fruit Sparkling"....
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