Diageo sales boosted by US demand
Diageo, the world's biggest spirits group, posted a 5 per cent rise in underlying quarterly sales, driven by demand for brands including Smirnoff vodka and Captain Morgan rum in the United States and across emerging markets.
The group, which posted a 9 per cent rise in the same period in 2011, this morning said it had made a “solid" start to its financial year in the July-September first quarter, with volume up 2 per cent.
Diageo shares were down 1.8 per cent at 1,750.75 pence at 09.55 GMT.
Underlying quarterly sales in North America, which accounts for around a third of group sales, grew by 6 per cent. Sales rose by 16 per cent in its Latin America and Caribbean region, 11 per cent in Africa and 2 per cent in the Asia Pacific.
Europe declined by 1 per cent as double-digit percentage growth in sales across Turkey, Russia and Eastern Europe was dragged down by weak trading in western and southern regions, with consumer demand in France hit by January's duty increases.
Underlying sales exclude the impact of acquisitions.
The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, Guinness beer and Tanqueray gin expects half its turnover to come from fast-growing Asian, African and Latin American markets by 2015 compared with nearly 40 per cent in its last financial year.
Diageo is in talks to acquire a stake in Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya's United Spirits, reviving an on-off courtship that would ramp up its presence in the world's largest whisky market.