Diageo Sees Earnings, Sales Rise on Currency Tailwinds

By Saabira Chaudhuri Features Dow Jones Newswires

Diageo PLC (DEO) Thursday reported improved earnings for the year and raised its target for profit margin growth as the world's largest spirits maker benefited from strong currency tailwinds and logged broad-based sales growth across most of its major regions.

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The company also announced a 1.5 billion pound ($1.96 billion) share buyback, to be paid to investors over fiscal 2018.

For the year ended June 30, the maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka reported its operating profit, excluding one-time items, climbed 20% to GBP3.6 billion while per-share earnings before one-time items climbed to GBP1.09 from 89.4 pence. On an organic basis, which strips out currency movements and acquisitions, net sales were up 4% to GBP12.05 billion from GBP10.49 billion.

Including the impact of currency and acquisitions, Diageo reported a net profit of GBP2.66 billion for the year compared with GBP2.24 billion a year earlier, on net sales that rose 15% to GBP12.05 billion.

In 2016, Diageo unveiled a cost-cutting program intended to save GBP500 million and add 100 basis points to margins by fiscal 2019. The company said Thursday it is raising this target to GBP700 million and 175 basis points respectively.

Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at saabira.chaudhuri@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 27, 2017 02:43 ET (06:43 GMT)