Guinness sales flat - but Baileys proving 'a true Irish success story' for Diageo

In its results statement Diageo described its Baileys brand as "a true Irish success story"
Gary McDonald Business Editor

SALES of its various alcoholic drinks have been generally flat in Ireland so far this year at Guinness owners Diageo, the company has confirmed in a preliminary results statement.

And even growth of the Guinness brand globally has been sluggish so far this year, with African sales declining by 5 per cent, driven by the shift to value beer in Kenya and Nigeria.

Irish and overall European sales, however, grew by 2 per cent, which was driven by the continued success of Guinness's younger sister brand Hop House 13 Lager, where sales soared by 31 per cent in the year to the end of June.

Diageo said it has sold the equivalent of 25 million pints of Hop House 13 across Ireland since its launch less than two years ago.

And another major success story within the group has been in sales of its Belfast-produced Baileys brand, which grew by 5 per cent worldwide and by 7 per cent in Ireland.

The Irish cream liqueur is produced at Diageo's plant in Mallusk, which opened 14 years ago and currently makes around 70 per cent of all Baileys sold across the globe (at peak times its output reaches 500,000 bottles a day).

In a statement Diageo said: "Baileys is a true Irish success story and has seen a remarkable performance turnaround over the past two years. The brand has never been in better shape."

It said the Original Irish Cream is "more than just a product descriptor - it's a fundamental cornerstone of our unrivalled product quality" and said Baileys remains "a proud contributor to the Irish economy".

Some 275 million litres of fresh Irish milk, supplied from 40,000 Irish dairy cows, grazing on 1,500 selected and accredited Irish farms being required each year to produce the cream used in the production of Baileys (that is the equivalent of 5 per cent of Ireland's total milk production).

The statement added: "Over 80 per cent of the ingredients and packaging used to make Baileys is sourced from the island of Ireland while export sales of Baileys total €487 million (£434m) a year."

Earlier this year Diageo announced a €25m (£22.3m) investment into the newly established Roe & Co distillery as well as a €16m £14.2m) investment to expand the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

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