Guinness Nigeria has posted a fall in profits for 2004/2005. The Nigerian Diageo subsidiary blamed the launch of a new bottle for the dip in net profit by 39% year-on-year. Guinness spent NGN3.6bn (US$27.6m) in the period developing a new bottle for its Nigerian market.

Net profit for the year to the end of June came in at NGN4.8bn from NGN7.9bn in the corresponding period a year earlier. Trading profit also fell slightly, to NGN11.6bn from NGN11.9bn the year before.

In a statement, the company said: "The launch of the new Guinness FES (Foreign Extra Stout) bottle resulted in the exceptional cost of NGN3,638,265,000 which will not recur in the new year."

During the period, Nigeria's beer market decreased by 11%, Guinness said, although the company expressed optimism about the outlook for the new financial year, which "has started positively with the launch of Guinness Extra Smooth and continuing success of the re-launched Harp brand."

Diageo holds a 46% equity stake in the company.