Diageo sees £6.9bn net sales in half-year results

Beverage company Diageo has reported a 5.8% increase in net sales, amounting to £6.9bn, in its half-year results ending 31 December 2018.

The company said all the regions it operates in contributed to broad based organic net sales growth, up 7.5%, with organic volume up 3.5%. It closed the period with an operating profit of £2.4bn, up 11% which the firm said was driven by organic growth.

Diageo, which owns Guinness, Ciroc and Gordons, said its cash flow “continued to be strong”, with net cash from operating activities at £1.6bn, up £356m and free cash flow at £1.3bn, up £317m.

As a result, the company announced a £660m stock buyback plan to bring its free cash flow up to £3bn for the year ending 30 June 2019.

Ivan Menezes, chief executive, said: “Diageo delivered broad-based volume and organic net sales growth across regions and categories. We continue to expand organic operating margins while increasing investment in our brands ahead of organic net sales growth.

“These results are further evidence of the changes we have made in Diageo to put the consumer at the heart of our business, to embed productivity and to act with agility to enable us to win sustainably. As we deploy our strategy, we remain focused on building the long-term health of our brands and ensuring we grow our business in a consistent and sustainable way.”

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