At Diageo's AGM yesterday, Paul Walsh, the company's chief executive said the company said signs of a global economic improvement were evident. And the group reaffirmed its outlook for future prospects.

However, Walsh also said the outlook for a sustained recovery of world economies was still unclear.

"Looking to the future, while the outlook for a sustained recovery of world economies is still unclear Diageo has demonstrated its ability to generate growth even in challenging times. In addition, signs of improvement are evident in some markets particularly in the United States, which is now our most important market," he said.

Wash said that Diageo was continuing to make share gains, even in difficult markets such as those in Latin America.

"Therefore, while recognising that we are only three months into the current financial year, we have not seen any trends emerging which would lead us to change our view of Diageo's future prospects," he confirmed.

For the three trading days prior to the AGM and on the day of the AGM Diageo halted the on market share repurchase programme. This policy will be followed in future years.