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Asahi Breweries' sales top 1 tril. yen for 1st time.

TOKYO, Feb. 18 Kyodo

Asahi Breweries Ltd. said Thursday its unconsolidated sales in the 1998 business year exceeded 1 trillion yen for the first time ever due to good sales of its ''Super Dry'' beer. Sales for the 12-month period which ended Dec. 31 came to 1,028.39 billion yen, up 5.8% from a year before, the company said. Pretax profit jumped 10.6% to 50.39 billion yen as a result of efforts to squeeze interest-bearing liabilities, while its operating profit sagged 4.5% due to increased sales costs such as advertising expenses. The company annulled a 28.9 billion yen contract under which it had entrusted trust banks with managing ''tokkin'' specified money trusts that had developed unrealized capital losses due to the deteriorated investment environment. The resultant capital losses at 13.1 billion yen were written down as an extraordinary loss. But the loss was offset by proceeds from the sale of a pharmaceutical-making subsidiary to Japan Tobacco Inc. As a result, the company posted a net profit of 8.8 billion yen, up 20.7%, it said. The company will pay a per-share dividend of 12 yen for the entire 1998 business year, up 1 yen from the preceding year. Looking ahead, Asahi Breweries said its net profit for the 1999 business year will rise to 10 billion yen on projected sales of 1.11 trillion yen. In 1998, Asahi replaced Kirin Brewery Co. as Japan's top beer producer for the first time in 45 years.
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Comment:Asahi Breweries' sales top 1 tril. yen for 1st time.
Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 22, 1999
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