Sapporo Holdings aims to more than double its international profits by 2020 as part of ambitious new growth targets.

The Japanese alcohol and soft drinks producer said yesterday it seeks to grow overseas operating profits from JPY2.3bn (US$22.4m) to JPY5bn over the next four years. The move, achieved by growing its long-standing business in Vietnam as well as in North America, would see Sapporo's international unit account for 15% of operating profits compared to 10% today.

The growth plan is part of an overall 2020 vision for Sapporo that targets a 42% operating profits boost and a 17% sales increase. The company said it was looking to "transform with unprecedented speed".

Meanwhile, a longer-term goal, called Speed150, will take Sapporo through to its 150th anniversary in 2026. The plan puts alcohol, soft drinks and food at the core of the company's ambitions, with the aim of having "highly unique brands... around the world", it said.

Sapporo's announcement comes as Japanese brewers continue to look overseas for growth amid a stagnant domestic market. Last month, Asahi set up a European unit as it took control of former SABMiller brands Grolsch and Peroni. Asahi is also reportedly interested in buying other SABMiller brands available in the wake of SAB's takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev.