Diageo

  • The  world’s biggest alcohol distiller Diageo announced Wednesday that it expects   organic operating profit growth for the financial 2021 year to be at least   14% higher, slightly ahead of organic net sales growth. The company noted   that in North America, its largest market, performance remained strong,   reflecting resilient consumer demand, the breadth of the portfolio coupled   with management described as effective marketing and innovation. With regards   to Europe, management stated that the region has seen solid off-licence sales   and a boost from hospitality beginning to reopen as lockdowns lift in some   countries. Despite these green shoots, the key travel division remains under   pressure due to the ongoing restriction on air travel.

  • Diageo also said that due to the strong performance, it will resume   the plan to return cash to shareholders that was paused in April last year   due to the coronavirus crisis. The group will therefore launch the second   phase of the programme with £1bn of payments by the end of 2021-22, starting   with £500m in share buybacks due by mid-November. The move comes as part of a   wider long-term goal, initially launched in 2019, to return up to £4.5bn to   investors, but the timescale has been extended by two years to 30 June 2024   due to the Covid pandemic.

  • Diageo, with brands such as Johnnie Walker, Bell’s, Tanqueray and   Guinness, is held in both the Cratos BCI Worldwide Flexible Fund and Cratos   Global Portfolios.

Diageo