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JAPAN: Kirin sales rise on "third beer" succcess

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The success of its "third beer" has helped the Japanese brewer Kirin post a rise in beer volumes in 2005, leading to a 4.4% rise in net profit for the year. The rise in sales volumes is the first in seven years.

The company added that it was also boosted by the performance of its part-owned Australasian group Lion Nathan.

Japan's number two brewer reported group net profit of JPY51.26bn (US$432.7m). Group operating profit rose 2.1% to JPY111.71bn. Although volumes were up, group sales fell 1.4% to JPY1.632 trillion.

Beer volumes increased 0.3% on the back of strong growth from the "third beer" brand Kirin Nodogoshi, which is able to command lower prices than normal beer. Like all its "third beer" competitors, it is brewed from non-malt ingredients and so is subject to a lower tax bracket.

Kirin believes Nodogoshi will help drive its beer sales up 3.5% in 2006. The company added that it estimates a 5.3% rise in group net profit to JPY54bn for 2006.


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Lion Nathan

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