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Kirin likely brewed up 10%-plus operating profit growth in 2016

Japanese brewer sells more soft drinks than expected, but beers slide

Popular green tea was a driving force behind Kirin's strong earnings.

TOKYO -- Kirin Holdings' group operating profit likely rose more than 10% to around 140 billion yen ($1.24 billion) for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31 as beers lost fizz but soft-drink sales bubbled up beyond expectations.

The brewer's standing forecast has operating profit growing 7% to 134 billion yen.

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