Blog: Olly WehringGuinness fortunes slipping?

Olly Wehring | 15 February 2007

Could it be that the ‘luck o’ the Irish’ is showing signs of drying up for Guinness?

While the Dublin-based brewer faced up to a 7% slump in European volumes today (15 February), brand owner Diageo was busy drawing up expansion plans for its Scotch whisky stable, totalling GBP100m (US$195.34m).

Johnnie Walker played centre stage today, as the UK-based drinks group presented impressive interim figures, buoyed by an overall 8% net sales growth in spirits.

Diageo’s investment is great news for the Scottish economy and will create 200 jobs, suggesting that Diageo Scotland is set fair to enjoy the fruits of labours in markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and Mexico.

Guinness’ problems, meanwhile, were compounded in the UK and Ireland markets by “exceptionally warm weather”. But let’s not forget that Guinness volumes grew 2% in North America - although it too struggled in Europe, incidentally, Baileys’ volumes leaped 22% across the Atlantic.

Diageo is of such a size now that it has a host of different pots on the boil at the same time but, like a certain rugby tournament that is currently on the go, there is always national pride at stake.

As for the luck issue, it seems Guinness has the luxury of not always betting on black but having a red option out there too now.


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