Drinks giant Diageo has announced a net growth in sales of 5% for the year to end June but said its Irish operations continued to be challenging with Guinness sales here down 5%.
In preliminary results posted this morning Diageo announced net global sales growth of 5% and opperating profit growth of 8%.
Net sales of £11.43bn (€13.19bn) in 2013 compared to £10.76bn the previous year, while operating profit before exceptional items was £3.53bn, up from £3.12bn in 2012.
Diageo said the results were driven by strong performance in North America with net sales up 5% and operating profit up 9%.
"We have delivered 5% net sales growth reflecting the strength of our US spirits business and continued double digit growth in the emerging markets, despite weakness in some markets," said CEO Ivan Menezes.
Among the weaker markets was Ireland.
"Western Europe continued to be a challenging trading environment," said John Kennedy, President, Diageo Western Europe.
"Our Southern European markets and Ireland faced another very tough year and net sales declined 11%.
"In Ireland, the beer market contracted across all channels due to the weak economy, and Guinness declined 5%."