Sales of the iconic Guinness beer, a St. Patrick’s Day staple, are declining with the Irish economy.
A deep Recession, which is keeping Irishmen from going out for a pint and putting many pubs out of business, is taking the bubbles out of Guinness sales.
“Overall performance was negatively impacted by a sharp net sales decline in Ireland,” said spirits company Diageo, which owns Guinness. Ireland was the key driver of the 4 percent net sales decline of beer in Europe, said Diageo in its half-year report for the six months ending December 2010.
Guinness sales also declined in Great Britain because soccer fans showed a preference for lager during the 2010 World Cup, Diageo said.
The global company, which also sells leading brands including Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Jose Cuervo, reported an overall 2 percent increase in profits last year, but European operations saw profits decrease by 9 percent. Economic weakness, particularly in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland, dampened the demand for spirits on the continent.