Sapporo Holdings has lowered its full-year profit forecast.

The Japanese company said today (7 February) that weak beer sales and rising marketing costs would hit figures for its fiscal year to 31 December.

Beer sales at the group's subsidiary, Sapporo Breweries, were down last year by around 7% year-on-year to 71m cases. Sapporo had previously forecast sales of 73.5m cases.

The company has subsequently reduced its group sales estimate to JPY454bn (US$3.85bn) from JPY462bn.

Figures for 2005 will be released on 17 February.