28/08/2008

Guinness Sales On The Up

Guinness executives are tapping into a more lucrative pub trade than everyone else with sales of the black stuff reported to be up by 2.5% against a declining beer market.

This is according to parent company Diageo Ireland, which today announced its full year's results up to the end of June. It said that its net sales were up 7%, and operating profit before 'exceptionals' was also up 9%.

It reported that Guinness has strongly outperformed the Irish beer market and grew its market share and has, together with other key beer brands, ensured that Diageo grew its percentage of the overall beer market.

However, it's not all good news for the pub trade as the company's consumer research is now showing that a figure approaching three quarters (70%) of pub Guinness drinkers are now also choosing to also drink Guinness at home.

Faced with the long-standing smoking ban - which deters some drinkers from going to pubs in the first place - and a nationwide crackdown on levels of drink-driving by the authorities, and an overall lack of cash due to the international 'credit crunch', more and more people are choosing to part at home instead of making the journey to licensed premises.

However, Diageo's good news continued with figures showing that it was also seeing an increase in the number of male drinkers aged from 21 to 34 choosing Guinness as the choice of drink.

Diageo announced earlier this year that it will spend millions on a new brewery outside Dublin, but Guinness' fans in Britain and Ireland will still get the black stuff from the historic brewery in the heart of the Irish capital.

After some uncertainty - as previously reported - it recently announced that it will, after all, renovate its famous central Dublin brewery at St James's Gate to supply these drinkers, but will close two smaller sites by 2013 and cut its Irish brewery workforce by more than half.

In five years, when the new brewery opens and smaller ones at Kilkenny and Dundalk are closed, Diageo says its Irish brewing workforce will be cut by 250 from its current 450.

The move means a reprieve for the St James's Gate site near the River Liffey, where Arthur Guinness started brewing his stout beer in 1759 after purchasing the dormant brewery with 100 pounds he had been left in his godfather's will.

See: Jobs To Go As Guinness 'Closes' St Jame's Gate

(BMcC)

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