Kirin Loses Top Beer Spot to Asahi, Shares Fall 2% (KNBWY)

Jun.12.06 | About: Kirin Holdings (KNBWY)
Kirin Brewery (OTCPK:KNBWY) lost its seat atop Japan's beer market for the first time this year after May sales data was released today. As always it continues to be a close race between Kirin and rival Asahi Breweries (Tokyo: 2502). Beer sales data was weak overall compared to a surge in sales in April ahead of a revision of taxes on beer and related products.

Kirin's ordinary shares (Tokyo: 2503) fell 1.97% to close at 1,688 yen ($14.82) while Asahi's shares lost 0.19% to close at 1,606 yen ($14.10). Kirin's ADRs closed Friday at $14.92.

I expect that Kirin's ADRs could face some selling pressure independent of its ordinary shares because of the fact that it plans to effectively delist from the NASDAQ at the end of this month and trade instead on other OTC markets such as the Pink Sheets. This issue is discussed in a post from last month covering Kirin's Q1 earnings.

June and July sales of beer in Japan should rebound and be quite strong given the popularity of soccer and the World Cup Soccer tournament (Japan is currently playing its first game versus Australia) and as baseball season progresses into summer.

The Japanese business press did not report on market share numbers and Kirin didn't have sales data available on its web site for further analysis. That being said the difference between the number one and two positions is likely to be in the tenth of a percent range. As you might have guessed competition is fierce and a tenth of percent means a lot.

Kirin Brewery Co, Ltd. ADR (OTCPK:KNBWY) 1-year chart: