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Diageo's full-year profit down 22%

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: The world's biggest drinks company Diageo has reported that full-year profits fell 22% as taxes offset growth in sales and operating profit.

The drinks company reported organic top line growth of 7.3% partly fuelled by the strongest performing brands; Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Baileys, Guinness, Captain Morgan and Buchanan's.

Guinness grew despite the impact of weak beer markets in Great Britain and Ireland as a result of double-digit growth in the international market, the group said.

Captain Morgan, primarily a North American brand, showed strong performance in Europe delivering 10% of the brand's growth this year.

"'Diageo's focus on proven brand and market building strategies has again delivered strong growth in top and bottom line and strong cash flow," Walsh said.

'In North America we outperformed the US spirits market for the third consecutive year. In Europe we improved performance in the second half and increased our investment in the growth drivers by brand and market.

"In international, strong performance by our beer brands and the investment we made behind our Scotch brands delivered another year of excellent growth.

"In Asia Pacific we grew in all markets, gained share in our key markets and improved performance in the second half."