Diageo hails Guinness marketing as GB sales rise

Diageo says high-profile marketing campaigns for its Guinness and Baileys brands helped lift sales by 9% in the UK last year.

Unveiling its results for the year to 30 June, the drinks maker says the sales gain was also helped by double-digit volume growth from its spirits such as Smirnoff and its premium pricing strategy.

Guinness, the company says, outperformed the rest of the beer category in the declining UK pub and club market with “broadly flat net sales”.

Diageo says the “success” was driven by the 250th anniversary campaign for the brand and its subsequent Bring it Life repositioning, which pushes the drink as one to be enjoyed in social occasions with friends.

Globally, Diageo posted a net sales gain of 5% to £9.8bn, while pre-tax profit increased by 12% to £2.24bn.

Marketing spend increased by 7% in the year.

Paul Walsh, chief executive of Diageo, claims the company’s marketing investment in growing categories such as scotch and in developing markets helped lift total sales.

He adds that this marketing focus will help deliver an improved performance at the end of the current financial year.

“The impact of the global economic crisis varied by market and the strength of the recovery appears to be equally variable.

“However, as we demonstrated this year, the global diversity of our business, together with the strength and range of our brands and the agility we have demonstrated gives us confidence that in fiscal 2011 we will be able to improve on the organic operating profit growth we have delivered this year,” he says.

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