Guinness increases market share despite sales dip
Guinness owner Diageo said alcohol sales plummeted 10pc in the second half of last year as the recession continued to hit consumers.
Diageo said pubs suffered the biggest decline, with sales falling 14pc as people headed across the border to stock up on cheaper drink.
The off-licence trade in the North shot up by more than a third.
Diageo said its net sales dropped 9pc, but Guinness's share in the declining beer market increased in both pubs and off-licences thanks in large part to the massive 250th anniversary celebrations.
A company statement said: "The hugely successful 250th celebration in Ireland, culminated on September 24, Arthur's Day, which given the scale and impact achieved was one of the key drivers of the market share and equity growth in this half."
The famous stout has 32.3pc of the draught beer market in the Republic and accounts for more than half (55pc) of Guinness global sales.
Across Europe Guinness sales dropped 1pc, but in Britain they jumped 3pc and experienced a record 7.6pc increase in pubs.
Paul Walsh, Diageo chief executive, said it had been a challenging six months but things were looking up.
"Our category leading brands, the consistency and scale of our marketing investment, successful innovation and our industry leading sales capabilities have led to share gains for Diageo's priority brands in key markets," Mr Walsh said.
"We are in the early stages of recovery with more encouraging signs in the emerging and developing markets."
Meanwhile wine sales suffered in the last six months of the year, down 4.1pc, but spirits were hit with the biggest decline at 12.6pc.