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Asahi Breweries, Ltd. pretax profit falls: company confirms commitment to Foster's.

Asahi Breweries Ltd. said consolidated pretax profit fell 2.7 percent to 19.12 billion yen in the year ended December 31, 1992 from the preceding year, as growth in demand slowed modestly amid Japan's economic slowdown.

The company said unfavorable weather after August kept beverage sales, by volume, around the preceding year's levels in 1992 despite an aggressive advertising campaign. Unconsolidated results are those of the parent company alone. Consolidated results include those of subsidiaries and related companies.

Meanwhile, Asahi also said it intends to be a shareholder in Foster's Brewing Group Ltd. of Australia for the long term.

Company spokesmen made a brief statement after Foster's shares fell on the Australian stock market last week, partly on rumors that Asahi plans to reduce its 17 percent stake in the international brewer to 15 percent.

Asahi diluted an original 20 percent holding last year when it sold some of its rights to a Foster's shares issue.

Asahi's statement doesn't completely rule out the possible sale of some of Foster's shares, but says the Japanese brewer confirms it is a "long term holder of Foster's shares."
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Title Annotation:Fosters Brewing Group Ltd.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Apr 5, 1993
Words:186
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