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Guinness sales rise for first time in six years

SALES of Guinness in Ireland rose for the first time in six years as parent company Diageo reported lower than expected global sales for the six months to the end of December.

Diageo attributed the 1pc rise of Guinness sales in the final half of last year to strong advertising and industry-led campaigns.

But punters overseas do not have the same taste for it. Globally, Guinness net sales declined 4pc, driven by a weaker performance in Nigeria, Indonesia and Britain due to difficult market conditions.

But the brand grew in many African markets, with double-digit growth seen in Kenya. And in Asia, expanded distribution and marketing activities drove strong double-digit growth in Korea and China.

David Smith of Diageo Ireland said the growth was down to a number of successful advertising campaigns.

"Great campaigns and positive public sentiment to our corporate and consumer brands have supported us in delivering our beer, lager and spirit business here in Ireland," said Mr Smith.

"Our St James's Gate Brewery accounts for 35pc of global beer for Diageo and brews a billion pints per year of which 75pc is exported to over 130 markets worldwide."

Sales of Baileys also increased, rising 1.9pc.