Close Menu

Asahi Group’s spirits business slips 6.1%

Nikka owner Asahi Group saw its full-year whisky and spirits sales contract 6.1%, with shochu sales down 4.8%, according to its 2016 earnings report.

While Asahi’s total alcohol beverage business remained stable with revenues edging up 0.6% to ¥976.6 billion (about US$8.6bn), its whisky and spirits portfolio – which includes the Nikka Japanese whisky brand – saw a 6.1% contraction to ¥54.3bn (US$480.0 million).

The sales declines follow a June 2015 decision from Nikka to discontinue the majority of its age statements due to supply issues. The brand subsequently delisted 14 of its products in all markets.

Its shochu stable also posted losses, with revenues down 4.8% to ¥27.4bn (US$242.2m).

Asahi’s ready-to-drink (RTD) division saw significant gains for the year, with sales up 31.5% to ¥37.2bn (US$328.8m). The firm cites the launch of shochu-based Mogitate for the performance, which underlines increased consumer interest in low-alcohol serves.

The total Asahi business, which also includes soft drinks and food, saw revenues climb 1.0% to ¥1,706.9bn (US$15.1bn) for the financial year.

Looking to 2017, Asahi says it is targeting 2% growth partly through a reinforcement of the Black Nikka whisky brand.

The firm also stated an ambition to “nurture and strengthen” its alcoholic drinks portfolio in 2017.

Last year, Asahi expanded production of Nikka at its Miyagikyo Distillery amid ‘soaring demand’ for the group’s products.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No