Re: Re: Guinness History ?

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Paul Clerkin

Diageo treads carefully on James’s Gate
02 September 2007
By Samantha McCaughren, Business Correspondent / Sunday Business Post

The forthcoming review of the Guinness brewery at St James’s Gate in Dublin will take full account of the ‘‘magic and history’’ of the brewery and will not be dictated by property prices, according to Michael Ioakimides, managing director of Diageo Ireland.

‘‘This is not about property prices,” Ioakimides said.

‘‘There are a lot more important considerations than just that. There’s a lot of magic captured in St James’s Gate, and this is something that we absolutely take into consideration in the review that we’re undertaking.”

The review has sparked concerns that some, or all, of the landmark brewery will be sold off. Ioakimides declined to rule out the possibility of land at St James’s Gate being put on the market, but he said that the firm would continue to invest in its Irish operations.

‘‘We have four brewing assets on this island – some of them have been around for up to 250 years. And to be strong for the next 250 years, we have investment behind them.

‘‘If you go out and say we’re making this investment review and already we can tell you X, Y and Z, that is the wrong thing to do. Because when you announce an investment review, the best thing to do is announce it, make sure you don’t allow speculation to take place, and go back with the right decision made six months later. And that’s what we’re planning to do.”

Guinness sales fell by 7 per cent in Ireland in the year to June, but Ioakimides said that sales had been growing in recent months for the first time in three years.

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