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Main Q&As at Asahi IR Day 2019

Alcohol Beverages
Soft Drinks
ESG

Alcohol Beverages

How do you change the marketing strategy of Asahi Breweries in the future?
Our strengths are sales networks, human resources, and building power of credibility with customers in addition to consumer’s high reputations for our product tastes. In the on-going diversification of consumers’ needs and values, we have worked to increase Asahi’s fans by enhancing our brands’ appeal for consumers. To this end, we have promoted the marketing strategy focused on further delving into consumers’ needs and insights in addition to the strengths we have cultivated so far.
What do you think to need for the improvement of profitability in the entire beer-type market?
We think the revitalization of beer category is essential. In the on-going stagnation of beer market, the sales volume of can and keg of Asahi Super Dry goes well driven by strengthening the appeal of the explicit brand image. We have worked to energize the beer market through the continuous effort to enhance the brand equity of Asahi Super Dry.
How do you develop and win new customers of Asahi Super Dry in the future?
We have strengthened the brand appeal of Asahi Super Dry in accordance with young generation’s needs. To this end, we have launched the extension products proposing new drinking styles, such as drinking directly from a bottle. Through these efforts, we aim at increasing the number of consumers of Asahi Super Dry. We have also worked to create the favorable environment, such as every generation and nationality have the cool image and want to drink when they have uplifting feelings.

Soft Drinks

What factors realize the sustained revenue growth and industry-wide top-class profitability in Asahi Soft Drinks?
We have realized the sustained sales growth by focusing marketing investment on core six brands and strengthening each brand’s differentiated value. We have also worked to reform earnings structure through such means as streamlining the supply chain management proactively and improving category mix focused on profitability. Thus, we have maintained the high profitability.
What factors have driven the growth of CALPIS (lactic acid bacteria drink) and WILKINSON (carbonated water) and how do you foresee the future potentials?
The CALPIS, which will celebrate its centennial anniversary in July this year, has acquired new customers through launching products which have responded to the changes of consumer needs, such as CALPIS WATER and Karada CALPIS, a food with function claims. WILKINSON created the new market in which consumers drink carbonated water directly and has leaded the expansion of the carbonated water market. We aim at further growth by strengthening efforts to utilize both brands’ core values.
While the market environment of vending machines becomes more severe, how do you deal with it?
The vending machines business is one of the essential sales channels. However we and the industry face the several challenges, such as the decrease of profitability per machine and the increase of operational costs. We do not pursue the increase of the number of vending machine but aim at increasing the profitability per machine. To this end, we have developed differentiated products utilizing the characteristics of vending machines and streamlined the route for replenishing products.

ESG

What do you recognize of ES initiatives in terms of investments for growth?
We have worked to develop and strengthen new businesses relating to the solutions of social issues and the Group’s corporate value enhancement. We have developed businesses with contributions to our financial results in addition to environment and society. These businesses include the sales of agricultural materials made of beer yeast cell walls and feed additive developed by the research of lactic acid bacteria.
Why did you settle the standards for resigning CEO?
We have promoted to transfer the authority to CEO aiming at the explicit separation of management supervision and business execution, and swift decision-making in business execution. On the other hand, we introduced the standards for cubing the disadvantages of excessively centralized authority in the CEO position. This is not aiming at merely resigning CEO. We think the sustainability of top management’s quality is essential and we have organized the framework with the succession plan.
How do you nurture the successors in light of the further governance reform?
We have selected the future management candidates from the viewpoint of the next generations. Then, under the multi-aspect evaluation, we have trained the candidates who can execute the corporate strategy the Group aims for. The personnel who have experienced overseas businesses are increasing steadily in the Group. In the circumstances, the competence and experience the top management need in the future are advancing. We have enhanced the successor training with further feeling of tension.