Diageo is considering increasing sales of Guinness in Africa in a bid to counter slowing demand in Europe, according to reports. While sales of Guinness fell by 4% in Europe in the six months to December, the drink is gaining popularity in many African countries, with Nigeria now the third-largest market in the world for the brand. Paul Walsh, chief executive of the drinks group, told the Financial Times: “We have to continue to grow the brand outside its home market.” He highlighted that places like Africa offered good opportunities for growth, with Guinness already brewed in more than 20 countries in the continent and exported to many others. Despite the drop in demand for the Irish beverage among Europeans, which Walsh emphasized had nothing to do with the way the brand was marketed, he said that sales outside of Ireland had risen by 5% and that selling the brand was not on the cards. Guinness accounted for 13% of Diageo’s total sales in 2006. The company is also reportedly intending to take part in the £3bn auction of V&S Group, the Swedish owner of the Absolut vodka and Plymouth gin brands.

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