News: Japan-based Sapporo Holdings is seeking expansion in the country's soft drinks and food markets through an investment of around US$2.5bn over the next five years. The firm, which lowered its profit forecast in August 2012, is also looking to accelerate growth and consider foreign acquisitions through the investment. Sapporo has kept its spending plan of investing JPY150-200bn (US$23.7-31.5bn) by 2016 even after lowering annual revenue and profit projections, said Tsutomu Kamijo, the president of Sapporo Holdings.
BMI View: Our outlook for the Japanese soft drinks sector is more positive than for the alcoholic drinks sector - thanks to continued sector investments and growing health awareness. To 2015, we are forecasting a 5.9% compound annual average growth in soft drink value sales. Soft drinks demand will be dampened this year on the back of weakened consumer spending. We are currently expecting soft drinks sales to come in at JPY2.2trn (US$25.1bn) in 2011, marking a 2.4% decline in sales in local currency terms.