Guinness owner Diageo is reporting falling sales of its drink brands in Ireland, including Smirnoff and Baileys, as the pub trade suffers in the recession.
Half year results reported by the beverage giant note, however, that Guinness increased its market share in Ireland due to the 250th anniversary celebrations and marketing campaign.
Alcohol sales plummeted 10% in the second half of last year as the recession continued to hit consumers, the drinks giant said.
Diageo said pubs suffered the biggest decline, with sales falling 14% as people headed across the border to stock up on cheaper drink.
The off-licence trade in the North shot up by more than a third.
"The economic weakness in Ireland and a reduction in customer spending continued to impact the alcohol industry with sales down 10%," the company said.
"The key Republic of Ireland on-trade channel declined at the higher rate of 14%. Diageo volume and net sales declined 9% but share increased in the on-trade in both beer and spirits."
“The hugely successful 250th celebration in Ireland, culminated on September 24, Arthur’s Day, which given the scale and impact achieved was one of the key drivers of the market share and equity growth in this half.”
The famous stout has 32.3% of the draught beer market in the country and accounts for more than half (55%) of Guinness global sales.