Guinness Nigeria profit falls as weaker economy hits sales

Guinness Nigeria Plc, the country’s second- biggest brewer, said half-year profit fell as an economic slowdown hurt beer consumption.

Net income declined 66 percent to 1.2 billion naira ($6 million) in the six months through December, the Lagos-based unit of London-based Diageo Plc said in a statement published on the Nigerian Stock Exchange website on Monday. Revenue dropped 10 percent to 49.8 billion naira.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, is facing a squeeze in consumption as the nation of more than 170 million people suffers from a slump in crude oil prices that has reduced the country’s main source of revenue. The nation’s economy probably grew 3 percent last year, the slowest pace since 1999, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Guinness Nigeria shares retreated 3.7 percent to 111.20 naira by the close of trading in Lagos, its biggest decline since Jan. 19. The shares are down 7.6 percent this year, compared with a 26 percent decline by larger competitor Nigerian Breweries Plc, part owned by Heineken NV.

 – Bloomberg