A file photo taken in 2012 at the Sapporo Vietnam beer factory in Long An Province
The key Vietnamese operations of Sapporo Holdings Ltd's overseas breweries unit will take another two to three years to become profitable instead of the original plan to be in the black this year, a top executive said on Friday.
Sapporo International built its first overseas factory in Vietnam in late 2011, saying at the time that it expected to be making profits in three years.
But the company has projected an operating loss of 2.3 billion yen ($22.5 million) in Vietnam in the business year to Dec. 31, as it spends more to boost its brand in a market dominated by Heineken.
"It's going to take another two to three years," Yoshihiro Iwata, the director of business strategy who is slated to take over as president of Sapporo International next month, told Reuters in an interview.
"Rather than bringing the business to the black early and have profits hovering at low levels, we want to establish a solid foundation in the premium beer segment, investing for longer-term profitability even if that means we delay getting into the black," he said.