Japan. Brewers need “some time“ before operations can resume after earthquake and tsunami

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Japan’s major brewers said that it is still too soon to quantify the whole damage of the earthquake and tsunami happening last week in Japan. Not only were several facilities damaged, but countless staff were impacted. Kirin seems to be the most severely impacted.

Kirin Brewery Company Limited on Monday said the main damage of the earthquake in Japan occurred at the Sendai Plant, where all facilities sustained damage including the collapse of four beer storage tanks, while the tsunami has affected product stocks. At present, operations at the Sendai Plant are suspended, with no date for resumption of operations envisaged as yet.

The Toride Plant also suffered damage to some facilities, including damage to sections of the beer storage tanks and the plant building. Kirin says it envisages that some time will be needed before operations can resume. “We are currently undertaking a detailed assessment of the damage“, Kirin said.

Safety of personnel
Kirin further said, “We are currently in the process of confirming that all our staff are safe and well. As we have not yet been able to confirm the safety of some staff members, we are working hard to complete this process.“

Impact on business performance
“We are currently assessing the damage caused by the earthquake in monetary terms and will provide prompt information if any effects on the business performance of the Kirin Group is envisaged“, Kirin announced.

Sapporo on Monday said:

1. Impact on Operations

Production Facilities

Some buildings and equipment at SAPPORO Breweries Ltd.’s Sendai Brewery (Natori-shi, Miyagi Prefecture) and Chiba Brewery (Funabashi-shi, Chiba Prefecture) have sustained damage or been otherwise affected. Those two breweries are currently out of operation. SAPPORO Breweries is currently assessing the damage and losses to its equipment and cannot yet say when operations may be restored. Some equipment is also out of service at SAPPORO Breweries other plants and at some production facilities of SAPPORO Group subsidiaries. As inspections of those buildings and equipment are completed and their safety verified, they will be put back into service.

Product Distribution and Operation of Commercial Facilities

Shipments of SAPPORO Breweries Ltd.’s and SAPPORO Beverage Co., Ltd.’s products bound for the Tohoku, Kanto-Koshinetsu, and Greater Tokyo areas will be suspended. Shipments to these areas, except the Tohoku area, will be resumed as circumstances permit from March 16. For the time being, however, delivery of some products may be delayed.

Some of SAPPORO Lion Ltd.’s restaurants, primarily those in disaster affected areas, are currently closed for business. Opening hours of the company’s other restaurants have been shortened or adjusted as necessary given the state of infrastructure and other conditions in each area.

Properties and facilities held by Yebisu Garden Place Co., Ltd. are currently subject to some use restrictions, but no major damage was sustained to its buildings, which therefore remain in operation.

2. Impact on Financial Results

The Group said it is currently investigating what impact the earthquake will have on its financial results and will immediately disclose any relevant information if it determines that the impact may be material.

Asahi on Friday just said “In relation to the damage situation of Asahi Group, some manufacturing facilities were suffered from the earthquake, and we will continue to work however to assess the impact.“ In view of the emergency situations, the Company decided to cancel the Forum for the Shareholders scheduled to be held after the 87th General Annual Meeting of the Shareholders of the Company. However, the 87th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of the Company will be held at 1:00 p.m., Friday, March 25, 2011 (JST) as scheduled.

Suntory seems to be less affected directly by the earthquake. The company in a statement said: “We wish to extend our condolences to those affected by the recent earthquake in the Tohoku Region of Japan.

As we of the Suntory Group would like to assist in the support of rescue and recovery efforts in the areas struck by the quake, we have today made a donation of JPY 300,000,000. Additionally, we will donate further relief supplies of one million 550ml bottles of Suntory Natural Mineral Water. 360,000 bottles were shipped immediately on March 12.

Furthermore, we are doing what we can to contribute to efforts to divert power supplies to the affected areas by turning off outdoor advertising lights and cutting back on the use of electricity at our business sites.

We pray for a quick recovery by the affected communities, and will provide continued support to that end.“