The world continues to shrink. Maureen and I had the opportunity earlier this year to visit our youngest daughter Elizabeth while she was studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. We discussed the incredible opportunities that are afforded to college students in the United States. It seems like it is now part of college experience to be able to study abroad. What a great gift.
Naturally, while we were there, we did some sightseeing as it was the first time that I was ever in Ireland. Since Maureen and I are of Irish heritage, this made for an exciting trip. One of the stops that we made was to go to the St. James gate brewery in Dublin. This brewery has been brewing Guinness ales since 1759 when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease to take over an unused brewery.
On the excellent tour, we were amazed at the size and scale of the company’s operation. I commented that if investors could see and hear about the various company operations of these large multinational companies of which they own shares, it would help them during market downturns.
The success of Guinness, which first started exporting beer from Ireland in 1769 and has now become one of the most successful beer brands worldwide,is quite impressive. Their beer is now brewed in almost 50 countries and is available in over 120 countries.
It is popular with the Irish, both in Ireland and abroad. In spite of declining consumption since 2001, it is still the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland. Guinness & Co. Brewery makes almost $2.1 billion worth of the beverage annually. And Yes – we did contribute to this number while we were visiting.
The Guinness company merged with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to form Diageo PLC. Grand Metropolitan was listed at the time on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it merged with Guinness plc to form Diageo in 1997.
Diageo plc is a British multinational alcoholic beverages company, with its headquarters in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s largest producer of spirits and a major producer of beer.
Diageo’s brands include Smirnoff (the world’s best-selling vodka), Johnnie Walker (the world’s best-selling blended Scotch whisky, Baileys (the world’s best-selling liqueur), and Guinness (the world’s best-selling stout). It also owns 34% of Moët Hennessy, which owns brands including Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Hennessy. It sells its products in over 180 countries and has offices in 80 countries. Diageo’s value (as indicated by the company’s market cap) was approximately $72 Billion in April 2017.
Guinness has been around for almost 250 years which should give comfort to investors and will likely be around for another 200 years. The next market decline will just be a temporary decline for the company stock like all the great multinational companies.
So during the next market downturn remember strength and longevity of these large multinational companies, and instead of getting caught up with the media’s narrative regarding this being the end of the world, Relax, go to a Irish pub and have a Guinness!
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