Diageo expects demand in Africa to outpace Asia
GUINNESS maker Diageo says it expects consumer demand in Africa to outpace the booming Asian market as rising purchasing power fuels the growth of cities and sales of more expensive drinks.
"Most economists would say that now is Africa's time," said Andy Fennell, Diageo's chief operating officer for that continent. "Growth won't come without its bumps in the road," but "it's a particularly exciting place to be."
Six of the 10 fastest-growing economies globally are in Africa, according to Nick Blazquez, president of Diageo's business for Africa, Eastern Europe and Turkey.
Diageo is the largest distiller in Africa, with revenue from the region totalling €1.8bn in the last fiscal year. The "rate of change" across Africa is faster than in Asia, Blazquez said. But bad infrastructure and political tension means it's a "glass half-empty and half-full" situation".
The maker of Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whisky, as well as Guinness, said it has an advantage in Africa as it distributes beer and spirits together to retailers in many countries, while distribution of the two is usually separate elsewhere.