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Diageo has been on something of a rollercoaster ride in the past seven days. This time last week, US President Obama was filmed toasting his Irish roots with a pint of Guinness.
The 'black stuff' remains a symbol of Ireland and several experts predicted that Diageo's coffers would be ringing from the endorsement. Not in Ireland, though, where they now drink less Guinness than in Nigeria.
A day after Obama's visit, this point was underlined when it emerged that Diageo is eyeing cost savings in Ireland. Soon after, the story broadened from Ireland to Europe, before the group announced on Wednesday (25 May) that it has, in fact, begun a review of its global operations.
The group's international business division became an early victim, after the drinks giant said that it will be dissolved in favour of separate Africa and Latin America divisions. Essentially, this story is about Diageo reallocating resources towards emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
As we have recently seen with other multinational drinks companies, and particularly the major brewers, this reallocation will come partly at the expense of operations in western markets. And, who can blame them? The growth is out east, after all.
Elsewhere on just-drinks last week, we ran our two-part interview with the CEO of Heineken, Jean-François van Boxmeer. Meeting van Boxmeer earlier this month was quite a long time coming for us – we'd not been able to tie him down since he moved up to the hotseat in 2005. He didn't disappoint either, with one of his many insightful opinions making our top story on Thursday.
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Until next time...