Diageo reports 15.8% first-half sales growth

27 January, 2022

Diageo reported that first-half net sales increased 15.8% to £8 billion as the on-trade rebounded and off-trade demand remained strong.

Organic net sales were up 20% for the six months to December 31, driven by strong double-digit growth across all regions.

Operating profit soared by 24.7% to £2.7 billion as consumers traded up to premium spirits and the company improved its operating costs.

Smirnoff and Baileys were two of the strongest performing brands in the portfolio, which also includes Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray, Guinness and many other household names.

Diageo will now accelerate its £4.5 billion share buyback scheme, which should now conclude a year early in June 2023. The firm’s share price increased marginally this morning.

Chief executive Ivan Menezes said: “We delivered strong organic net sales growth across all regions and operating margin expansion. This performance demonstrates our world-class brand building capability, supply chain excellence and agile culture, and reflects the strength of our portfolio across geographies, categories and price tiers.  

“In the off-trade channel, where consumer demand has remained resilient, we have gained or held market share across the majority of our measured markets. We also benefitted from the continued recovery of the on-trade channel, particularly in Europe and North America.  

“Strong sales volume growth and continued premiumisation drove an improvement in organic operating margin during the half. This was achieved while increasing our investment in marketing to gain share and support innovation, particularly in North America and Greater China. In addition, our focus on revenue growth management and productivity savings are helping to mitigate the impact of cost inflation.

“Strong cash flow generation is enabling re-investment in sustainable long-term growth. We are expanding our production capacity, enhancing our digital capabilities, investing in talent and progressing with our ambitious 10-year sustainability plan. During the half, we also returned £0.5 billion to shareholders via share buybacks and we are accelerating the timeline of our return of capital programme.

“We have made a strong start to fiscal 22. While we expect near-term volatility to remain, including potential impacts from Covid-19, global supply chain constraints and rising cost inflation, I am confident in our ability to successfully navigate these disruptions through the remainder of the year. Over the medium-term, from fiscal 23 to fiscal 25, we continue to expect organic net sales to consistently grow within a range of 5% to 7% and organic operating profit to grow sustainably within a range of 6% to 9%.”





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Tess Posthumus

Talking the challenges of cocktail weeks

Having recently returned from the US visiting both Oakland and Arizona Cocktail Weeks I was amazed by the differences in approach. In Oakland there was a much bigger trade focus and it felt more relaxed, whereas in Arizona it was one massive party for consumers.

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