• Net sales in nine months to end of March come in flat, down 0.3%

  • Sales dip in Q3 by 0.7%

  • Asia Pacific the worst culprit, down by 5.5% in YTD

  • Africa sales up by 6.2% in nine-month period

Diageo released its nine-month trading update today

Diageo released its nine-month trading update today

Diageo has seen sales in the first nine months of its fiscal year continue to flatline, with Asia Pacific cancelling out a healthy performance in Africa.

In a trading update today, the company said that sales in the nine months to the end of March dipped by 0.3% year-on-year. While Asia Pacific was down by 5.5%, with the reduction of distributor inventory levels in South-East Asia being flagged, Africa continued to perform well. Sales in the continent increased by 6.2%.

North America was flat, inching up by 0.2%, with Europe slipping by 0.5%. Latin America & Caribbean also struggled, with sales falling by 3.3%.

The nine-month performance was broadly in-line with Diageo's half-year figures, released in January, which showed a 0.5% decrease in sales for the six months to the end of December.

For the third quarter, total sales were down by 0.7%, with Latin America dropping by 10.2%. Africa's sales rose by 8.2%, with Asia Pacific decreasing by 6%. North America (+0.9%) and Europe (-1.3%) were both flat.

"Our performance in the quarter reflects continued tough conditions in the emerging markets and subdued consumer demand in some developed markets," said CEO Ivan Menezes. "Depletions continue to outpace shipments as we embed our sell-out culture. In addition, our decision to de-stock some wholesale channels in South-East Asia and West LAC will improve our ability to track consumer and customer trends and reduce future volatility."

Menezes warned, however, that "lower inflation and weak economies" will hamper Diageo's sales growth in the current fiscal year.

The company's share price fell in early trading ths morning, and was down by 2.3% to GBP19.20 at 0855 BST.