“Supporting these global results is a strong performance from Diageo’s brands produced in Ireland and exported to over 150 countries worldwide,” stated the company.
In Ireland, draught Guinness and Smithwick’s grew their value share in the on-trade but the beer market remains in decline with net sales falling five per cent, according to Diageo’s preliminary results to 30th June.
“Despite the ongoing difficult and challenging economic environment in which we operate, both here in Ireland and in Western Europe, Diageo Ireland has delivered steady results,” commented David Smith, Country Director at Diageo Ireland. He said Guinness continues to be the best-selling on-trade beer in Ireland, maintaining a strong value share of 32 per cent.
“We are proud of our strong export growth,” he continued, “In the past 12 months, our three top export brands have shown positive growth with Guinness growing four per cent across the world, Baileys net sales in China growing by 42 per cent and Bushmills delivering double-digit increases in net sales with a particularly strong performance in Eastern Europe.
“It’s of vital importance that we maintain a positive domestic market as it is central to our ability to grow these exports.”
The value to the rural economy of annual purchases by Diageo Ireland is more than €270 million.
“We purchase over 13 per cent of Ireland’s total annual domestic production of barley while 250 million litres of fresh Irish milk is used to produce the cream in the manufacture of Baileys Cream Liqueur.
“We are sowing the seeds for future growth at St James’s Gate with our €153 million investment in the new brewery which will allow us to compete even more strongly from our Irish export base, safeguarding the future of brewing in Ireland for many years to come and having a real impact on the Irish economy”.
The tourism sector here is also benefiting from the iconic Guinness brand with the Guinness Storehouse the number three branded visitor attraction in the world.
In recent brand-tracking research commissioned by Tourism Ireland, enjoying a Guinness with locals in a traditional Irish pub was one of the top ‘must-do’ experiences cited by potential holidaymakers.
Visitor numbers to the Guinness Storehouse have increased by 10 per cent this year to more than one million. The €10 million three-year re-investment programme which Diageo Ireland announced at the end of last year to accommodate the projected growth in visitor numbers is now well underway, he added.
Internationally, Diageo reported that its emerging markets (responsible for around 40 per cent of Diageo’s total business) grew net sales by 15 per cent which contributed to an Operating Profit growth of 23 per cent.
Investment in marketing rose eight per cent to 15.8 per cent of net sales, focused on the company’s strategic brands and on its fastest-growing markets.