Japan's largest beer maker Kirin Brewery has reportedly posted a 20% leap in profits for the first half of the year.

Local reports said today (10 August) that Kirin outperformed domestic rivals Asahi and Sapporo, which earlier this month cut their full-year profit targets.

Kirin reported operating profit of JPY45bn (US$391.3m), up from JPY37.5bn a year earlier, a Reuters report said. The brewer enjoyed soaring sales in Japan's 'third-beer' category and saw sales double to give it a 41% share of the segment.

Kirin's total beer sales, which also include regular beer and low-malt happoshu sales, rose almost 11% during the first six months of the year, Reuters said.

The brewer upped its full-year sales forecast to JPY1.68trillion and maintained its profit outlook at JPY117bn.