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JAPAN: Brewers' profits up on hot summer

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Japan's brewers have benefited from a summer heatwave, which has been reflected in the sales figures of two of the country's brewers released on Friday.

Also benefiting from cost reductions, Asahi recorded record half year profits. The group's net profits reached ¥15.46 billion, up 87.4% on the same period last year. Group sales were ¥648.11 billion, a rise of 1.3%.

"There are increasingly clear signs that consumers are going back to regular beer products," said Asahi's senior managing director Yoshihiro Goto.

Asahi said that for its full year, it now expects a record group net profit of ¥28 billion, up from its previous forecast of ¥26 billion issued in February. The new figure is 21% more than 2003 earnings.

Meanwhile, Sapporo Holdings, which reported a loss of ¥13.36 billion in the first half last year, saw a reversal to profit this year to ¥2.85 billion.
Sales rose 4% to ¥224.30 billion.

"We've never had such a good summer before," said Masaru Fukunaga, director at Sapporo's corporate strategy division.

Temperatures in central Tokyo hit a record high 39.5 degrees Celsius July 20, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. It was the highest temperature recorded in Tokyo since the agency started keeping records in 1923.

Sapporo raised its full-year forecasts last month to net profit of ¥5 billion, more than double the amount in 2003.


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Sapporo Holdings

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