UK – Diageo, a British multinational alcoholic beverages company, has reported strong performance with net sales US$14.24 billion reflecting consistent and rigorous execution of our strategy.

The company reported net sales US$14.24 billion and operating profit US$4.32 billion were up 0.9% and 3.7%, respectively, as organic growth was partially offset by adverse exchange.

All regions contributed to broad based organic growth, with organic net sales up 5.0% and organic volume up 2.5%.

The organic operating profit was up 7.6%, improving organic operating margins by 78 basis points, as higher marketing investment was more than offset by efficiencies from our productivity programme.

“Diageo has delivered another year of strong, consistent performance. Organic volume and net sales growth is broad based across regions and categories.

We have expanded organic operating margin while increasing investment behind our brands ahead of organic net sales growth.

These results reflect the high performance culture we have created in Diageo, the ongoing rigorous execution of our strategy, our focus on the consumer and our ability to move swiftly on trends and insights,” said Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, commenting on the results.

Diageo added the cash flow continued to be strong, broadly in line with last year, with US$3.62 billion net cash from operating activities and us$2.92 billion free cash flow.

Basic eps of 121.7 pence was up 14.8%, while pre-exceptional eps was 118.6 pence, up 9.3%, principally due to higher organic operating profit.

On 26 July the Board approved a share buyback programme to return up to US$2.33 billion to shareholders during the year ending 30 June 2019.

The Board recommended a final dividend increase of 5% bringing the full year dividend to 65.3 pence per share.

“During the year we returned us$1.75 billion to shareholders through a share buyback.

We have delivered another year of strong cash flow generation in F18.

Consequently, the Board has approved an additional share buyback programme of up to US$2.33 billion during F19,” added Ivan.

“The changes we have made in the business and the shifts in culture we continue to drive, ensure we are well placed to capture opportunities and deliver sustained growth.

Our financial performance expectations are unchanged and we expect to continue to invest in the business to deliver our mid-term guidance of consistent mid-single digit organic net sales growth and 175bps of organic operating margin expansion for the three years ending 30 June 2019.”