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Guinness owners Diageo's half-year profits are up internationally despite a six percent fall in the volume sold in Europe.
The company blamed the slight drop in sales on the impact of Irish economic woes, where sales of the stout were down 8 percent, and also on the preference of football fans to drink lager during the summer World Cup.
Overall Guinness sales in Europe were down 3 percent in the six months to December 31, but strong growth in the North American market and in emerging markets saw pre-tax profits rise 16 percent to USD 2.59 billion.
Among other leading Irish products, sales of Baileys grew 2 percent and gained almost three percentage points of market share after a successful television advertising campaign during the period.