All 4 Major Japanese Brewers Log Sales Drops in 2020

Economy

Tokyo, Feb. 15 (Jiji Press)--All four major Japanese brewers have reported year-on-year falls in consolidated sales in the business year to December 2020, reflecting sluggish demand from business customers both at home and abroad amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

Suntory Holdings Ltd.'s sales fell 7.8 pct to 2,367.6 billion yen due mainly to weak sales of business-use alcoholic drinks. Sales of beverages through vending machines also struggled amid the virus crisis.

Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. <2502> saw sales of its flagship Super Dry beer drop by over 20 pct, hit by shrinking demand from eating and drinking establishments. Its overall sales stood at 2,027.7 billion yen, down 2.9 pct.

Group sales at Kirin Holdings Co. <2503> dropped 4.7 pct to 1,849.5 billion yen. But its net profit rose 20.6 pct to 71.9 billion yen, backed by the strong performances of its pharmaceutical and North American beer operations. The profit growth also came after the company booked a loss from its beverage business Australia in 2019.

“Changes in the business environment caused by the pandemic were greater than expected,” Kirin President and CEO Yoshinori Isozaki told a press conference on Monday. “We’ll continue to proceed with the reform of our earnings structure while keeping our policy (of focusing on products for households) unchanged,” he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press