Suntory can lay claim to bragging rights in Japan for the first half of 2010

Suntory can lay claim to bragging rights in Japan for the first half of 2010

Suntory Holdings has become the only major Japanese brewer to report positive figures for the first six months of 2010.

The company, which operates in almost all beverage categories, said today (17 August) that group net profits for the half-year leapt by 65% on the corresponding period a year earlier, to JPY13.4bn (US$156.6m).

Suntory's performance has bucked the trend for Japan's brewers, with the other members of the so-called big four posting depressed figures in recent weeks

Yesterday, Kirin Holdings cut full-year sales and profits guidance after it reported slips in the first half of 2010. Then, earlier this month, Asahi Breweries said that net profits for the six months to the end of June fell by around 30% JPY15.5bn.

Finally, Sapporo Holdings said a fortnight ago that sales in the half-year were down by 3%, with net losses remaining at a worrying level – JPY684m versus JPY738m in H1 2009.

As well as its domestic beer and whiskey portfolios, Suntory also owns Scotch whisky firm Morrison Bowmore and Orangina Schweppes Group, which it bought late last year.

Earlier this year, Suntory and Kirin broke off talks regarding a possible merger.