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Diageo: punished after unsurprising results

( - Diageo, the world's number one spirits company, disappointed investors on Tuesday by unveiling unsurprising results for the first half of the year, while maintaining its medium-term forecasts.

The British group, owner of Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer, this morning reported net sales down 1.4% to $11 billion for the six months to the end of December.

Organic growth was negative at 0.6%, a decline the company attributes to the sharp drop in business in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Excluding this region, however, organic growth would have reached 2.5%.

Operating profit fell by 11.1% to $3.3 billion.

After the profit warning in November, we were concerned about the Group's half-year performance", commented analysts at RBC this morning.

"But it is in line with our forecasts and with Diageo's downwardly revised targets", they stressed.

In its press release, Diageo asserts that its organic growth should improve in the 2024/2025 fiscal year, which starts at the beginning of July, compared with the 2023/2024 fiscal year, which ends at the end of June.

It adds that organic growth in operating profit should be in line with organic growth in net sales over the next financial year.

Following these announcements, the share price fell by 2.4% on Tuesday morning on the London Stock Exchange.

Pernod Ricard, the world's number two, will publish its first-half results on February 15.

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