Asia Brewers Network

Japan’s big four breweries see sales and profit surge in 2023

23rd February 2024

Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo and Suntory see robust growth due to price hikes and a weak yen

Japan’s leading breweries – Suntory Holdings Limited, Asahi Group Holdings, Kirin Holdings, and Sapporo Holdings – have all reported strong growth in their sales and profits last year, according to their recently released earnings reports.

Suntory Holdings led the pack in terms of revenue growth, with a 10.6% increase to a record JPY3.29 trillion (USD21.81 billion). Asahi Group Holdings followed closely with a 10.3% increase in revenue to JPY2,769 billion. Kirin Holdings surpassed the JPY2 trillion revenue mark for the first time while Sapporo Holdings posted a 60% net profit growth in 2023.

The sales and profit growth of the four major breweries in Japan comes despite the industry grappling with the negative impact of high raw material costs buoyed by domestic price hikes. According to the earnings reports, the four breweries managed to counter the economic headwinds by adjusting domestic prices and leveraging the depreciation of the yen to enhance performance in overseas markets.

For this coming year, Asahi, Kirin, and Sapporo have projected further growth in revenue and profits, while Suntory Holdings is adopting a more cautious outlook. The firm is forecasting a decrease in net profit this year due to various factors, such as tax reforms in the US.

Suntory, established in 1899, is one of the oldest companies in the distribution of alcoholic beverages in the country. It also makes Japanese whisky. Sapporo, is the oldest brand of beer in Japan. It was first brewed in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, in 1876 by brewer Seibei Nakagawa. Asahi, with a 37% market share, is the largest of the four major beer brewers in Japan. All four breweries are now focusing on strengthening their beer sales by expanding globally.

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