The Japanese brewer Kirin Brewery announced today that net profit for the first nine months of the year was up 13% to ¥34.87 billion from the ¥30.86 billion in the same period last year.

In the same period group sales edged up 0.1% to ¥1.174 trillion from ¥1.172 trillion, despite a poor year for beer sales, which were affected by a cool summer in Japan.

The beer sector was also hit by the increase in tax on its relatively low-priced, low-malt Happoshu products, which saw consumers move to other low-priced alcoholic drinks. Overall beer shipments in the first nine months fell 7.5% in volume year on year, more or less in line with the industrywide fall.

Kirin was however buoyed by growth in its soft drink sector, which rose 3.8% to ¥270 billion

For the full business year ending December, Kirin reiterated its outlook for group operating profit of ¥90 billion, a net profit of ¥33 billion and sales of ¥1.610 trillion.