just the Preview - Diageo's Q4 and FY
Diageo is set to post its full-year results tomorrow (26 August)
Diageo is set to report its full-year results tomorrow (26 August).
Here, just-drinks takes a look at the highs and lows for Diageo in the six months to the end of June.
- The first action of 2010 for Diageo came in India where, in early-January, the firm's joint-venture partner in the country, Radico Khaitan, warned that it would block Diageo from taking full control of the JV. The shot followed the approval of the Indian Government in December for Diageo to buy out Radico Khaitan.
- Closer to home, and Diageo won what it claimed to be a landmark ruling in the UK in January. The company's victory over Intercontinental Brands regarding the latter's Vodkat vodka-based spirit beverage was seen by Diageo as “(giving) 'vodka' the additional protection of the law of passing off”. A few weeks later, however, Intercontinental Brands was given clearance to continue using the name Vodkat, despite its legal defeat.
- A regular source of Diageo-related headlines of late has been the possibility of it moving its head office out of the UK. Sure enough in the six-month period, the matter arose again. In February, the company would not be drawn on claims that it had been offered incentives to move its HQ to Switzerland. “As we have said before,” Diageo said, “we see many advantages to remaining a British domiciled company, but we have also made clear time and again that it is important the Government takes steps to ensure this country remains and develops its position as a competitive place to do business.”
- Then, also in February, a tit-for-tat niggle between Diageo and Bacardi over the US Virgin Islands erupted into a public slanging match. In an astonishing outburst, Diageo accused Bacardi of conducting a clandestine “campaign of misinformation” against its plans to move Captain Morgan's rum operations to the US Virgin Islands. “Enough is enough,” said Diageo's executive VP for North America, Guy Smith. “We will not stand by while these special interests undermine our corporate reputation and jeopardise the economic future of the US Virgin Islands,” he said.
Richard Woodard, our regular spirits columnists, gives his opinion on the row here.
- A month later, in March, just-drinks was in attendance as Diageo officially opened its Sedibeng brewery in South Africa, which was jointly funded with Heineken. While there, we managed to grab some time with Nick Blazquez, head of Diageo Africa.
- In April, we caught up with Diageo's chief marketing officer, Andy Fennell, who was keen to talk premiumisation, the aftermath of the recession and the death of bling.
- In May, the company posted a 12% lift in sales for its third quarter, and a 2% sales rise for the nine months of its fiscal year to the end of March. Despite the gain, Diageo did not raise its guidance of low single-digit growth in like-for-like operating profits for the full-year.
- Also in May, Diageo confirmed that its CFO, Nick Rose, will be replaced by deputy finance director, Deirdre Mahlan, following the drinks giant's annual general meeting scheduled for 14 October.
- Finally, towards the end of June, the company agreed a sale-and-leaseback arrangement for certain land and facilities in Napa Valley in California. The assets, which were valued in the region of US$260m, will be acquired then leased back to Diageo Chateau and Estate wines unit by Realty Income Corporation under a 20-year lease.
To read just-drinks' preview of Diageo's first half, click here.
For Diageo's H1 performance, click here.
For Diageo's latest share price, click here.
Diageo's results last week spelt out one strong message, as far as M&A nut Richard Woodard is concerned. Let's watch him clap his hands and jump up and down as he tells us what he heard....
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