Suntory has failed to declare JPY760m (US$6.5m) in taxable income for a four-year period ending December 2003, according to local reports.

Tax authorities in Osaka made the discovery after a tax audit on Suntory's finances, sources familiar with the matter told Kyodo News.

The Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau has imposed JPY240m in back and penalty taxes against the Japanese drinks group, and the company has made the payment in full.

The sources said Suntory had failed to list some dividends it earned through equity holdings in overseas companies.

Suntory officials were unavailable for comment as just-drinks went to press.