Diageo toasts 6% rise in global sales

Fri, May 4, 2012, 01:00

SALES AT Diageo, the world’s biggest distilled drinks group, were up 6 per cent in the first three months of 2012, with fast-growing emerging markets and a recovery in north America offsetting falling sales in Europe.

The London-based maker of Guinness, Smirnoff vodka and Captain Morgan rum said yesterday that, despite weakness in Europe, its fiscal third-quarter performance was in line with its expectations, and this put it on track to hit its medium-term target, which is also for 6 per cent sales growth.

The British group gained as markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia showed strong demand for its range of drinks and a US recovery gathered steam.

“Trading in the third quarter remained strong, with the year-to-date performance in line with the first half and our expectations,” said chief executive Paul Walsh in a trading update.

Last week Pernod Ricard, Diageo’s biggest rival, reported a 3 per cent rise in its third-quarter sales, with growth in the period limited by the early Chinese new year and by French consumers stocking up ahead of a tax rise, which boosted 2011 sales at the expense of early 2012. – (Reuters)