For the first time in 30 years, Guinness Nigeria Plc yesterday reported a loss for the year ended June 30, 2016. Details of the audited results filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that turnover fell by 14 per cent from N118.49 billion in 2015 to N101.973 billion in 2016. Operating profit fell by 72 per cent to N4.415 billion from, N15.667 billion. However, Guinness ended the year with a loss before tax of N2.347 billion and loss after tax of N2.0 billion, compared with profit before tax of N10.795 billion and profit after tax of N7.79 billion in respectively in 2015. Speaking on the results, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Ndegwa, said that the combination of a tough economic environment and challenges with naira devaluation had a significant impact on Guinness Nigeria’s overall performance. “Our performance this year was impacted by two major factors, one being the very tough economic challenges around consumer spending, driving consumer preferences towards value brands across the sector, the other, and more significant factor being the effect of foreign exchange policy and the devaluation of the Naira. When you take out the impact of the latter, our underlying performance for the year was broadly in line with the prior year in spite of the pressure on the top line.” Speaking in the same vein, Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr Babatunde Savage, said: “Despite the continuing deterioration in the operating environment, the Board is pleased to note that our core brands of Guinness FES and Malta Guinness are in growth and we now have a strong participation in the growing value segment of the market through Satzenbrau and Dubic. We have also started to see early signs that our decisions to acquire the distribution rights in Nigeria to the International Premium Spirits brands of Diageo and to invest in local capacity for spirits manufacturing are the right ones for the business.” In January 2016, Guinness Nigeria acquired the distribution rights for Diageo, its parent company’s International Premium Spirits (IPS) like Johnnie Walker, Ciroc and Baileys in Nigeria. Also in the course of the financial year, the company acquired the rights to distribute brands from India’s United Spirits Ltd (USL) for brands like McDowell’s whisky.