Japanese food and beverage group Kirin Holdings saw its quarterly losses widen on one-off securities and impairment charges.

The company, which owns Australia's National Foods and Dairy Farmers, booked a net loss of JPY6.17bn (US$63.3m) for the three months to the end of March. The result compared to a net loss of JPY675m a year earlier.

Kirin blamed its deeper losses on "factors including loss on devaluation of investment securities and loss on impairment".

Nevertheless, the group saw turnover jump 13.3% to JPY487.2bn, as sales from its soft drinks and foods business rose 4.2%.

Kirin's operating income increased by 2.5% to JPY9.4bn, although its soft drinks and food division made an operating loss of JPY3.9bn.

The company said its sales of dairy products and flavoured milk in Australia were "sound", while raw dairy input costs had "showed signs of easing". However, Australia remained a "tough consumer market", Kirin said.

The integration of Dairy Farmers, the Australian dairy business Kirin bought last year, had been "progressing steadily", the company said.

Kirin stuck to its full-year forecast of JPY2.3tn in sales, which would equate to a fall of 0.2% on 2008.

The group also reaffirmed an operating income forecast of JPY121bn, a drop of 17.1%.

Net income is expected to drop by 28.9% to JPY57bn, Kirin said on Friday (8 May).