Guinness enjoyed a strong second half to 2015, with year-on-year sales growth of 5% being noted in Ireland and the iconic stout’s global sales jumping by 9%.
The six months to the end of December — the first half of parent group Diageo’s financial year — saw strong progress for the group’s Irish brands, with Baileys Irish Cream returning to growth in Europe on the back of increased consumer sampling campaigns.
“Our Guinness volume share is now at 34.5% in the on-trade in the Republic, which means more than one in every three pints sold in the pub is a Guinness brand,” said Diageo Ireland country manager Oliver Loomes.
“In Northern Ireland, Guinness grew 4% in the on-trade and 3.6% in the off-trade. This overall island of Ireland growth was driven by the continued growth of innovations launched through ‘The Brewers Project’ — Hop House 13 lager, Dublin and West Indies Porter.”
Guinness also made key gains outside of Ireland.
In Britain, net sales increased by 4%, year-on-year, while in the key African markets of Nigeria and Kenya respective sales increases of 28% and 11% were noted.
Globally, Baileys sales grew by 6% on increases in the UK and the US.
The re-emergence of gin’s popularity amongst Irish drinkers led to sales of Gordon’s growing by 9.5% in the Republic, during the period, although net sales of Diageo’s spirits brands, on a whole, declined by 6%, mainly due to “channel restructuring”.
On a group-wide basis, Diageo reported near 2% net sales growth to £5.6bn (€7.4bn) although operating profit slipped by 3% to just over £1.61bn (€2.1bn).
Chief executive Ivan Menezes said that the group should still achieve mid-single digit percentage sales growth in its current year.
“Diageo has become a stronger, more competitive business,” said Mr Mendes.
“While trading conditions remain challenging in some markets, Diageo’s brands, capabilities in marketing and innovation and our route to consumer have proved resilient.
“I am confident that Diageo can deliver improved, sustained performance.”
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