finance

Guinness giant Diageo hails strong sales



Johnnie Walker and Guinness owner Diageo says trading has been better than expected this financial year with strong sales in the US giving it a “good start”.

The drinks giant said it had seen “robust demand” in the off-trade, including supermarkets and retail stores, despite the pandemic and lockdown.

Its chief executive Ivan Menezes said Diageo had also benefited from the gradual reopening of bars and pubs around the world.

US trading was “ahead of our expectations” thanks to resilient consumer demand and continued growth in spirits sales, with venues reopening and higher stock levels in stores.

Sales in China continued to recover, though banquets and large events were returning slowly. Travel retail was hit hard by pandemic restrictions around the world.

Mr Menezes said: “Our outlook for the first half of fiscal 2021 has improved since the year-end, reflecting the good start to the year, particularly for our US business.

“I am pleased with the resilient performance of our business in the current challenging operating environment and encouraged by our progress.

“While the pace of recovery is uncertain, I am confident in our strategy, the long-term fundamentals of our business and Diageo’s ability to emerge stronger.”



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