• Full-year net profits up by 3.7% to JPY55.1bn (US$710m)
  • Net sales dip by 1.8%, to JPY1.46tn
  • Operating profits rise by 12.2% to JPY107.2bn
  • Brewer hit by JPY17.9bn earthquake charge 
Asahi Group profits survive earthquake charge, sales drop

Asahi Group profits survive earthquake charge, sales drop

Lower costs have lifted Asahi Group's full-year profits, offsetting a further decline in drinks sales and charges related to the Japanese earthquake. 

Asahi's net profits for the 12 months to the end of December rose by 3.7% to JPY55.1bn (US$710m). Reduced costs and a lower tax payment enabled the brewer to survive a JPY17.9bn one-off charge related to damage inflicted by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March last year.

Operating profits increased by 12.2% on 2010, to JPY107.2bn, Asahi said today (10 February). However, net sales dipped by 1.8%, to JPY1.46tn, entirely due to lower alcoholic drinks sales in Japan and lower returns on sales overseas.

Asahi will not release commentary on its results until 13 February, but its figures show that domestic sales of alcoholic drinks fell by 4.7% for the 12 months, to JPY942.4bn. Sales in its overseas business, meanwhile, fell by 3.5% to JPY94.2bn.

Domestic soft drinks sales showed the biggest gains for the year, up by 5.6% to JPY329.8bn. The soft drinks unit may have been lifted by stronger demand for bottled water following the earthquake, as reported by rival firm Suntory yesterday.

Asahi's share price crept up by 0.8% on the Tokyo stock exchange today.

For the company's figures, click here.