Diageo release half-year results and reveal plans for new Edinburgh whisky visitor experience

January 31st, 2019 | Posted in: News,Spirits,Whisky

Diageo has delivered its 2019 Interim Results, to the half-year ended 31 December 2018.

Reported net sales (£6.9 billion) was up 5.8% with organic growth partially offset by unfavourable exchange. Reported operating profit (£2.4 billion) was up 11.0%, driven by organic growth.

Organic operating profit grew 12.3%, ahead of top line growth, as cost inflation and higher marketing investment were more than offset by improved price/mix and efficiencies from the company’s productivity programme.

Cash flow continued to be strong, with net cash from operating activities at £1.6 billion, up £356 million and free cash flow at £1.3 billion, up £317 million.

Basic eps (earnings per share) of 80.9 pence was down by (1.6)%. Pre-exceptional eps was 77.0 pence, up 13.6%, driven by higher operating profit and lower finance charges, which more than offset an increased tax charge largely as a result of lapping the positive impact of US tax reform in the prior period.

The interim dividend increased 5% to 26.1 pence per share.

Commenting on Diageo GB’s half year results, Dayalan Nayager, Managing Director, Diageo Great Britain, Ireland and France, said, “We’ve experienced a very strong half in GB, with net sales up 14% and our key brands, including Guinness, Tanqueray, Gordon’s and Smirnoff, all performing well.

“The gin category continues to boom in GB1 . Tanqueray and Gordon’s remain firm favourites amongst consumers, with both brands delivering strong double-digit growth over the last six months.

“In beer we are outperforming the category2 .Guinness delivered net sales growth of 6% and increased its market share, driven by a strong performance from Hop House 13 lager. In December, Guinness was announced as the new title sponsor and official beer of The Six Nations from 2019, reinforcing the Guinness brand’s position as one of rugby’s biggest supporters.

“Smirnoff returned to growth with net sales increasing 4% despite the category being in decline in GB3 . It also cemented its position as the UK’s biggest spirits brand4 . Summer saw the launch of the ‘Smirnoff Soda Smash’ which encouraged consumers to put a modern twist on the classic vodka and soda.

“Johnnie Walker grew 6% partially driven by the launch of the limited-edition ‘White Walker by Johnnie Walker’, in collaboration with HBO® and Game of Thrones, which was released in GB in October 2018. The launch proved hugely popular, selling one bottle a minute on Amazon UK in the first 24 hours of it being available5 .

“We’ve seen a host of exciting activations by our brands over the half. The Guinness Open Gate Brewery opened its doors in London, giving consumers a chance to sample some of Guinness’s unique and innovative beers. We showcased seven of our Reserve brands at London Cocktail Week in October, which saw around 25,000 people attend, and the Baileys Treat Bar Christmas Pop-up returned to London for a second year in a row.

Diageo has also confirmed it is in talks to secure the former Frasers department store in Edinburgh’s west end as its base for a major new
Johnnie Walker “immersive visitor experience.”

The group said negotiations with the owners of 145 Princes Street were at an early stage.

House of Fraser moved out of the landmark building in September. It is understood the talks with property developers Parabola involve a leasing arrangement for the entire building.

New gin to help raise funds for Doddie Weir’s MND charity

Mon 18th February 2019

English spirits ­producer 45 West Distillers, which produces Burleighs Gin, is working with ­Scottish rugby ­legend Doddie Weir’s chari... Read more.

Absolut creates new bottle label in support of LGBT+ History Month

Mon 18th February 2019

Absolut vodka has taken ink used in hate signs from around the world to create a new limited edition bottle to celebrate LGBT+ History Month... Read more.

All four Majors live on Sky Sports in a spectacular 2019 beginning with the Masters Tournament in April

Mon 18th February 2019

The drama and emotion of all four Majors will come to life for Sky Sports customers this year as the biggest names in golf hunt down the mos... Read more.

William Grant & Sons announce new Chief People Officer

Thu 14th February 2019

William Grant & Sons has appointed Kerry Christie as its Chief People Officer effective June 2019. Kerry will be based in Scotland and w... Read more.

Andy McCue to step down as The Restaurant Group boss

Thu 14th February 2019

The Restaurant Group, whose brands include Frankie & Benny’s, Wagamama and Chiquito, has announced that chief executive Andy McCue... Read more.

Scotch Whisky exports on the up in 2018

Thu 14th February 2019

Official figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have revealed a strong year for Scotch Whisky exports in 2018, with global growth by bot... Read more.

Year-on-year revenue growth of over 300% for Scottish craft gin brand McQueen Gin

Wed 13th February 2019

Stirlingshire-based true craft spirit brand McQueen Gin has announced year-on-year revenue growth figures of over 300%. ... Read more.

BrewDog reveals more details of first US bar outside Ohio

Wed 13th February 2019

Scottish brewer BrewDog has revealed more details of the ‘Doghouse’ bar it will open in Indianapolis, which will be its first US... Read more.

Buzzworks Holdings reports another year of growth

Tue 12th February 2019

Buzzworks Holdings has reported an increase in turn over, up 9 per cent from £14.8m to £16.2m, for 2018.... Read more.

Diageo submits plans for flagship Johnnie Walker visitor attraction in Edinburgh

Tue 12th February 2019

Diageo has announced that plans have been formally submitted for the flagship Johnnie Walker visitor centre in Edinburgh. The Edinburgh attr... Read more.

McGinty’s Group set to serve up £500k bar and restaurant in Aberdeen

Mon 11th February 2019

The McGinty’s Group has lodged plans with Aberdeen City Council to transform the former Esslemont and Macintosh (E&Ms) department stor... Read more.

Beer sales in UK on-trade up, says BBPA Beer Barometer

Mon 11th February 2019

Sales of beer in the on trade increased by 0.1% on full year 2017 sales, according to the latest Beer Barometer sales data from the British ... Read more.

Carlsberg reports full-year UK volume down 3%

Thu 7th February 2019

Carlsberg has reported total volume fell 3% in the UK for the year ending 31 December 2018 in a slightly growing beer market. Of its UK perf... Read more.


Thu 7th February 2019

It’s not every day that you come across a family-run business that’s celebrating 50 years of successfully supporting and supplying the S... Read more.


Wed 6th February 2019

A long-held dream to distill fine single malt whisky in the East Neuk of Fife has become a reality for the founders of Kingsbarns Distillery... Read more.


Wed 6th February 2019

Oro Gin, from the Dumfriesshire-based Oro Gin Distilling Co, picked up the silver title in the London Dry Gin (UK) category at the World Gin... Read more.

New rum for Deeside Distillery

Wed 6th February 2019

A North-East distillery has launched an exciting new venture with the creation of the UK’s first single cask cask-strength ... Read more.

Plans to extend historic Melrose pub given the green light

Wed 6th February 2019

It’s always tricky trying to secure planning permission when a pub’s steeped in history but The King’s Arms in Melrose High Street has... Read more.


Tue 5th February 2019

The Edinburgh Grand has added a further art deco inspired bar and dining experience with the launch of Lady Libertine. Lady Libertine is the... Read more.

Elliots to be renamed Vic’s & The Vine following refurbishment

Tue 5th February 2019

Buzzworks Holdings has closed Elliots bar and restaurant in Prestwick for a refurbishment and rebranding that will be unveiled at Easter. It... Read more.