Kirin Holdings has reported a 42% drop in net profits for the first nine months of 2010, due to lower sales and one-off charges for restructuring and pensions.

Profits slipped to JPY24.2bn (US$299m) for the nine months to the end of September, Kirin said today (5 November). The Japanese food and drinks group was dragged down by foreign exchange losses, restructuring costs, higher taxes and a one-off charge related to its pension scheme.

Net sales for the period also fell, by 4% to JPY1.6tn. Kirin reported a 16% drop in soft drinks and food sales, which it blamed on a change in reporting period for its National Foods business in Australia.

There was better news for the group in alcoholic drinks. Japan’s beer market remains under pressure from an ageing population and tough economic conditions, but Kirin hailed stronger-than-expected growth for its alcohol-free beer, Kirin Free.

Group operating profits increased by 21% to JPY113.6bn for the nine months.

Full details of the company’s results can be found here.