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Japan's Asahi heads for record profit as stock hits high

Top brewer focuses on soft drinks and cost-control to offset weak beer sales

Asahi's soft drink products subsidiary increased the production of Calpis lactic acid drink.

TOKYO -- Already hovering at an all-time high, shares in Asahi Group Holdings are headed for more upside as Japan's largest beer maker looks set to post a record full-year profit, fund managers say.

Since January, Asahi shares have soared nearly 50% to 5,336 yen, pushing its market capitalization over 2.58 trillion yen ($22.6 billion). This is about 160 billion yen higher than that of its rival Kirin Holdings as of Tuesday.

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