Alcoholic drinks buoy Kirin in Q1

Alcoholic drinks buoy Kirin in Q1

Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings has returned to profit for the first quarter of 2010, despite a decline in sales.

Kirin said today (7 May) that it reached net profits of JPY6.1bn (US$68.5m) for the three months to the end of March, compared to losses of JPY6.1bn in the same period of 2009.

Operating profits more than doubled in the quarter, to JPY23.8bn versus JPY9.4bn last year.

The gains came in spite of a 9% drop in net sales for the three months, to JPY442.7bn from JPY487.3bn.

"Sales for the first quarter fell primarily due to the reporting period change for National Foods, which handles the soft drinks and foods business of Lion Nathan National Foods," said Kirin.

Sales from the alcoholic drinks division went some way to offset a 41% drop in the soft drinks and food sales, climbing by 6% to JPY236.4bn. The unit's operating profits were up by 15% to JPY15.8bn, said Kirin, which last year acquired full control of Australian brewer Lion Nathan and took a 48% stake in San Miguel Brewery.

For the full announcement, click here.