Asahi Breweries Delays West Japan Plant Closure Amid Supply Concerns

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Asahi Breweries Ltd. (2502.TO) said Monday it will postpone the planned shutdown of its brewery in Nishinomiya, western Japan, by one year to provide stable beer supplies amid concerns about power shortages in the east of the country after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The company originally planned to close the ageing brewery by August of this year, but will now push the closure back until August 2012. The firm said the decision won’t lead to any revisions to its earnings outlook for the current business year ending December.

The move comes after Asahi decided to raise its production by over 10% via a boost in output at domestic breweries not affected by potential power outages.

Its brewery in Fukushima, northern Japan, is scheduled to resume operation by next month after it was hit by the March 11 disaster. But that facility is unlikely to return to full capacity any time soon, and the status of the firm’s Nagoya plant in central Japan remains uncertain following the temporary shutdown of a nuclear plant in the region.