Diageo makes strong start to 2021 fiscal year

Guinness owner says US business is performing ahead of expectations

Diageo is benefiting as countries ease their Covid-19 restrictions. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Diageo is benefiting as countries ease their Covid-19 restrictions. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

 

Guinness owner Diageo said on Monday it has made a strong start to its fiscal year 2021, with its US business performing ahead of expectations, as many countries ease their COVID-19 restrictions.

“Our outlook for the first half of fiscal 21 has improved since the year-end, reflecting the good start to the year, particularly for our US business,” chief executive officer Ivan Menezes said.

Off-trade demand

In Europe, Diageo said that off-trade demand remains robust and the on-trade channel has largely re-opened with the easing of lockdown measures in most countries, although the risk of additional restrictions remains where infection rates are worsening. In China, the on-trade channel continues to recover, although larger banqueting occasions are returning more slowly. While the on-trade has also begun to re-open in Africa, India and Latin America and the Caribbean, Diageo said it expects the pace of recovery in those markets to be “more gradual”. Travel retail continues to be severely impacted. Additional reporting Reuters