The Japanese brewer Kirin Brewery announced this week that net profits for its first nine months reached ¥40.5 bln (US$378m) compared to ¥34.9 bln in the same period last year.

The increase was driven by a rise in revenues to ¥1.22 trillion versus ¥1.17 trillion for the nine months in 2003.

For the full year to March 2005, Japan's second largest brewer said it is still expecting net profit of ¥43 bln on the back of revenues of ¥1.68 trillion.