Drinks giant Diageo is celebrating a 9% rise in
operating profits and a 7% increase in global sales
thanks to a strong performance in the Far East and a
string of new acquisitions.
Sales were up from ?7.48bn last year to a new mark of
?8.09bn, while sales volumes increased by around 3%.
Operating profits rose to ?2.3bn at the Guinness brewer,
up from 2007's figure of ?2.12bn.
The company's international arm was behind much of the
growth, with sales up 16% and volume up 5% to outperform
its European and North American divisions, which
respectively saw sales inch up by 3% and 5%.
Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker were among the leading
brands for the company, respectively boosting sales
volumes by 8% and 5%.
"The combination of Diageo's leading brands and our
global reach has delivered another year of strong
organic growth with net sales up 7% and operating profit
up 9%," said chief executive Paul Walsh.
"Price rises and mix improvement covered increased input
costs and gross margin has improved. We have benefited
from marketing spend efficiencies and scale in our
global brands and we have reduced marketing spend in
ready-to-drink to maintain the profitability of that
segment. Overall we have delivered a further 70 basis
points organic improvement in operating margin."
He added: "During the year we added Ketel One vodka,
Zacapa rum and Rosenblum Cellars wine to our brand
range. These are already successful brands and we intend
to build on that success."