Diageo shrugs off slowdown

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The Independent Online

People across the globe are drinking their way through recessions and financial crises, results from the world's largest spirits producer suggest.

Diageo shrugged off a slowdown in Europe thanks to surging sales of Guinness, Smirnoff, Baileys, Johnnie Walker and Old Parr in emerging markets.

Sales in emerging markets, which now account for nearly 40 per cent of Diageo's business, grew 15 per cent over the year. That helped to take profits for the year to June up 32 per cent to £3.1bn. Total sales rose 10 per cent to £14.6bn, allowing the company to hike the dividend by 8 per cent to 43.5p.

Paul Walsh, chief executive, said: "Diageo is a strong business getting stronger … . We have increased our presence in the faster-growing markets of the world, through both acquisitions and organic growth."

Latin America and the Caribbean saw net sales rise 19 per cent.