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Diageo Serves Up Profit Rise With More Premium Spirits In The Mix

By Donna Ahern
Diageo Serves Up Profit Rise With More Premium Spirits In The Mix

Diageo narrowly beat full-year earnings estimates on Tuesday as sales of its more expensive spirit brands offset lower volumes.

The world's largest spirits maker tapped into higher demand from amateur cocktail makers during the COVID-19 pandemic that has driven at-home sales since.

Households began trading up along the way, investing in brands such as Bulleit Bourbon and Don Julio tequila.

Once lockdowns ended, many people stuck to these brands, buying them in bars and restaurants.

Most Expensive Brands


Diageo's most expensive brands accounted for 57% of its overall organic net sales growth, it said.

Shares in Diageo were up 2.3% in early trading.

Read More: Diageo Reserve’s Announces Date For World Class Cocktail Festival

The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, Captain Morgan's rum and Ketel One vodka said organic net sales rose 6.5% in the year to 30 June, edging the 6.4% expected by analysts, a company-provided consensus showed.

Diageo said full-year sales were driven by a strong first half.


"Results were roughly in line with expectations," said Tineke Frikkee, a portfolio manager at Diageo investor Waverton Investment Management. "The next 12 months will be second-half weighted as comparatives will be tough for the rest of this calendar year."

Environment Challenges 

Looking to fiscal 2024, Diageo's new CEO Debra Crew said in a statement, "I expect operating environment challenges to persist, with continued cost pressure and ongoing geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty."

Read More: Diageo Names Debra Crew As New CEO

Crew was appointed CEO in June after the death of long-time boss Ivan Menezes.


Diageo said its organic net sales increase reflected gains of 7.3 percentage points from higher prices and a more premium mix while organic sales volumes fell 0.8%.

Diageo's organic operating profit rose 7%, beating the 6.3% expected by analysts.

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more drinks stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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