Diageo is the world's foremost spirits business, controlling more than 20 of the world's top 100 brands by value including premium brands Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal and Baileys, as well as Guinness stout. The acquisition of United Spirits of India added a large portfolio of value-priced regional spirits brands, including McDowell's, Hayward's and Bagpiper. McDowell's alone shifts well over 50m cases of whisky, brandy and rum a year, with combined sales of $3.4bn a year, making it Diageo's third most valuable brand after Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff. Other key brands in selected markets include iconic Australian rum Bundaberg, Turkish raki Yeni, Chinese baijiu Shui Jing Fang, Brazil's Ypioca cachaca, Casamigos and Don Julio ultra-premium tequilas, Ketel One and Ciroc vodkas, and a large collection of whiskeys such as J&B, Bell's, The Singleton, Buchanan's, Grand Old Parr and Windsor. The group was formed in 1997 by the merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness. It has streamlined its operations considerably since then, selling off food brands Pillsbury and Burger King, while also adding the choicest brands from the former Seagram portfolio, as well as a number of key brands in developing markets. The group is especially strong in North America and Asia; weaker in Europe where it is outgunned by arch-rival Pernod-Ricard. There are also significant gaps in its non-spirits portfolio. Guinness is its only global beer and in 2015, Diageo agreed to divest virtually all of its small wine business, mostly to Treasury Wines Estates. The group has an important strategic partnership with LVMH's Moet Hennessy division, in which it controls a large minority shareholding. This has prompted speculation that it might at some point launch a bid for full control of that business, possibly at the same time as it offers Guinness up for sale. For the year ending June 2019, Diageo reported net sales of £12.9bn, with net profit of £3.3bn. Both were best-ever results. North America accounted for 35% of total sales. Ivan Menezes is CEO.
Capsule checked 15th August 2019
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Historical profile information for Diageo
Adbrands Daily Update 25th Jul 2019: Diageo reported a year of solid growth to June 2019, with net revenues up 6% to £12.9bn and net income of £3.2bn. Total volumes rose 2% to just under 246m equivalent cases as declines in Europe were offset by growth in North America and especially Asia Pacific. Diageo's six "global giant" brands all delivered positive reported sales growth, though volumes were flat for Smirnoff, Baileys and Guinness, and Captain Morgan slipped slightly. Tanqueray was the star performer up 21% in reported sales, while the others reported single-digit increases.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Nov 2018: Diageo has offloaded a collection of non-core lower-priced North American spirits brands to fast-expanding Sazerac Company for $550m. Best-known of the brands being transferred are Canadian whisky Seagram's VO and Parrot Bay rum, but there are also another 17 smaller spirits products. Acquirer Sazerac, based in New Orleans, already has an extensive collection of mostly value-priced whiskies, vodkas and rums. It's perhaps best-known, though, as the owner of cinnamon-flavoured Fireball, now one of the world's top 30 spirits with retail value of over $1bn a year. It acquired Southern Comfort from Brown-Forman in 2016.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Aug 2018: At Diageo, solid organic revenue growth of around 5% was offset by currency headwinds, with the result that reported net sales rose only a little under 1% to £12.16bn. However, all regions reported positive volume and net sales growth. A one-off tax gain in the US helped attributable profit to rise by 14% to a best-ever £3.02bn. The group's strongest-performing category by growth was tequila, where organic sales soared by 40%, led by Don Julio, and helped by the $1bn acquisition of Casamigos. Gin, too did well, up 16% organic, with lead brand Tanqueray delivering a 15% lift. Vodka was the group's weakest category, down 1% in organic sales, and the only segment to report a decline. Smirnoff and Ciroc were both down 2%. Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Baileys were all up around 5%-6%.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd May 2018: Diageo made changes to its North America team. Current president of US spirits & Canada Tom Looney is retiring, to be succeeded by Claudia Schubert, currently general manager in Europe. North America chief marketing & innovation officer James Thompson is also leaving the company, to be replaced by Ed Pilkington, currently CMO for Western Europe.
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Jul 2017: Diageo also delivered full year results to June. Exchange rates helped revenues rise by 15% to £12.05bn, but organic growth was strong too at 4.3% for the year. Price rises contributed the bulk of the increase because volumes were up by only 1% organic. All regions contributed to growth, with the key North America region up 3% organic and Europe and Africa by 5%. Net profit rose by an impressive 19% to £2.7bn. Continuing the recent global trend, sales of brown spirits continued to rise at the expense of vodka. Among Diageo's top brands, Johnnie Walker and Captain Morgan both gained 6% in organic sales. Regional whisky stars Crown Royal and Buchanan's did even better at 12% and 16% respectively, while Smirnoff slipped by 1%, Ketel One by 5% and Ciroc by 12%. Another major gainer was Tanqueray Gin, up 9%.
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