Diageo Delivers Growth In First Earnings Report Following CEO's Death

Global alcoholic beverage giant Diageo delivered preliminary results for the fiscal year ending June 30 yesterday, reporting organic net sales growth of 6.5% amidst a premiumization push and increased marketing investment, despite an organic volume decline of 0.8%. The sales growth figure marginally eclipsed consensus analyst forecasts of 6.4%, according to consensus figures provided by the company, Nasdaq reported.

It was the first earnings report, following the death of CEO Ivan Menezes in June from complications of emergency stomach surgery. Diageo appointed Debra Crew, who had been serving in the chief executive role in an interim capacity, as CEO and executive director immediately following news of Menezes’ death. Crew initially joined Diageo as a board member in 2019, was appointed as North America president the following year, and named chief operating officer last October. She opened her first investor relations presentation as CEO by expressing appreciation for the condolences messages offered, and voiced a commitment to build on Menezes’ legacy.



Crew cited Guinness’ performance as a particular highlight for Diageo, calling it the brand’s “best year since we’ve been tracking it,” with growth across all regions and double-digit growth in Europe. She attributed Diageo’s successes in part to its strategy of pushing premiumization in North America and Africa.

“We’re also focusing on increasing penetration, supported by innovation and consistent marketing investment,” she added. “Our strategy is working.”

Diageo’s medium-term guidance forecast “consistent organic net sales growth in the range of 5% to 7% and sustainable organic operating profit growth in the range of 6% to 9%.”

Diageo also touted double-digit growth for its biggest brands globally, including 15% growth for Scotch whiskey brand Johnnie Walker; and growth of 16% and 20%, respectively, for its Casamigos and Don Julio tequila brands. According to Crew, Diageo is the global tequila leader by retail sales value.

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