Shares in Allied Domecq dipped early yesterday after comments from AC Nielsen suggested a mixed picture for the company. Dealers said yesterday that AC Nielsen data for last month suggested both good and bad for AD in the US.

According to Lehman Brothers, AD was the best performer in monthly terms in the US, with a 3.4% rise in August and an increase of 6.2% in the year to date.

The broker added, however, that during the month, the main reason for the rise was a surprise surge in Ballantines volumes, while consistent performers such as Kahlua and Sauza were softer.

The group's Makers, Mark and Malibu brands continued their double-digit growth, rising 11% and 20% respectively in the year to date, which helped the group's price/mix rise 0.6% in August, although it was negative at -1% in the year to date.