The Canadian brewer Sleeman Breweries announced yesterday that it had expanded its agreement with Japan's Sapporo Breweries, which will see the Canadian produce an additional 75,000 hectoliters of Sapporo product in 2005.

Sleeman said the deal would add 8 Canadian cents per share to its 2005 earnings.

The amendment to the existing agreement between the parties extends the term of the original contract by one year and expands Sleeman's production of Sapporo products to include worldwide production of its 650-millilitre Silver Can.

Sleeman currently produces Sapporo bottled products for the United States, where Sapporo is the No. 1 selling Japanese beer.

"We are excited to be working with Sapporo and the expansion of our original agreement demonstrates the success of this strategic partnership," said John Sleeman, chairman and chief executive officer of Sleeman Breweries.

"Sapporo is a world-renowned brand with a reputation for high quality. Working with Sapporo has enhanced our presence in the global brewing industry and is consistent with our growth strategy."

"Since the signing of our initial contract in September, 2002, Sleeman has achieved excellent results producing Sapporo products," said Sadao Fukuda, president of Sapporo Breweries. "Sapporo has been the No. 1 selling Japanese beer in the US for 18 years. By extending our agreement with Sleeman, we aim to make Sapporo one of the top 10 imported brands in North America. This is a beneficial relationship for both companies and we are pleased to build on our successes to date."