(Bloomberg) — Guinness will raise prices of the nation’s favorite brew next month by 12 euro cents per pint, a new blow to struggling publicans and prompting calls for the company to reconsider its decision.
London-based parent company Diageo Plc, which reported profit of £3.34 billion ($4.1 billion) in its latest fiscal year, said it could no longer afford to absorb rising costs, which are increasing for brewers worldwide.
Pubs are already grappling with a soaring cost of energy and still recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their businesses. The move also follows a similar 17 euro-cent increase announced by Heineken NV on its products in December.
Vintners Federation of Ireland Chief Executive Paul Clancy said publicans were “getting hammered from every angle” and described Diageo’s move as a further difficulty for his members.
“We’re heading into the quietest few months of the year for the trade, so the increase in the price of a pint couldn’t come at a worse time. Due to the unprecedented cost of doing business publicans will have to pass on this price increase to their customers, which is something they are very unhappy about,” he said.
Speaking to reporters in Dublin, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he didn’t think a 12 cent increase would would put any pubs out of business, but added that it would cause “financial hardship for many” in light of the rising cost of living.
He added that the Irish government’s energy support scheme was there to help businesses cope with rising costs, but added that he had been surprised by the low take-up by firms to date.