Diageo Announces Buyback After First Half Sales Rise
Diageo, the world's largest spirits company, announced a share buyback programme on Thursday after first-half sales and profits rose despite currency headwinds.
The British maker of Johnnie Walker Scotch and Smirnoff vodka said net sales rose 0.9% to £12.2 billion and operating profit rose 3.7% to £3.7 billion.
Earnings per share rose 9.3% to 118.6 pence.
“Diageo has delivered another year of strong, consistent performance," commented Ivan Menezes, Diageo chief executive. "Organic volume and net sales growth is broad based across regions and categories. We have expanded organic operating margin while increasing investment behind our brands ahead of organic net sales growth.
"These results reflect the high performance culture we have created in Diageo, the ongoing rigorous execution of our strategy, our focus on the consumer and our ability to move swiftly on trends and insights."
Diageo said it approved a share buyback programme of up to £2.0 billion for the year ending 30 June 2019.
Menezes added that the changes Diageo has made to its operating structure means that the business is well-positioned to "capture opportunities and deliver sustained growth".
He noted that the company's financial performance expectations are "unchanged and we expect to continue to invest in the business to deliver our mid-term guidance of consistent mid-single digit organic net sales growth and 175bps of organic operating margin expansion for the three years ending 30 June 2019.”