The Japanese brewer, Kirin Brewery Co., reported that group sales had fallen by 2.7% in the six months to the end of June to Y727.89 billion. In the same period, net profit fell by 27% to Y10.32 billion. The company also reported a 6.6% decline in group operating profit to Y33.80 billion. It blamed the declines on falling beer sales.

Kirin has also lowered its earnings estimates for the full year. It is now predicting a group net profit of Y26 billion for the full year, representing a 12% year-on-year increase. The company is forecasting a 6.6% improvement in operating profit to Y80 billion and a 1.2% sales increase to Y1.58 trillion. In its earlier forecast, the company was predicting a group net profit of Y29 billion and an operating profit of Y84 billion on sales of Y1.6 trillion.

The company has also marginally increased its full-year beer volume projections. In February, Kirin was forecasting a 0.1% volume rise for the year but with volume sales picking up during the summer, the company is now anticipating a 0.8% rise in beer volumes for the full year. However, it is predicting beer sales in value terms to be around Y880 billion for 2002, against its earlier estimate of Y920 billion.

Kirin's beer sales in the first half fell by 7.1% and its share of the domestic beer market shrank from 37.9% to 35.8%.