Guinness sales in Ireland grew by 5% during the second half of 2015

'The black stuff' has also enjoyed a massive bump in demand in Nigeria...

Guinness sales in Ireland grew by 5% during the second half of 2015

The Guinness Storehouse gates in the St James's Gate in Dublin | Image: Julien Behal / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Global beer and spirits giant Diageo has announced that sales of Guinness in Ireland rose by 5% in the six months to December.

Net global sales of the Irish stout rose by 9% during the period. Guinness enjoyed particularly strong growth in Nigeria where sales swelled by 28%.

Overall, Diageo recorded a 2.4% growth in operating profits during the half year, rising to £1.6bn as the group enjoyed higher-than-expected sales across Europe. Net sales were £5.6bn, earnings per share were 56.1 pence.

Spirit sales were 6% lower, partly because of the group’s sale of the Bushmills distillery in Antrim - but Johnnie Walker and Ciroc vodka performed well.

Sales of Baileys, the Irish cream liqueur, grew by 6% with most of the increase in demand coming from the UK and US.

Chief executive Ivan Menezes commented on the results, "For the full year we expect volume growth to drive stronger top line performance, margin to slightly improve and strong cash conversion to continue."