Diageo, the world’s largest producer of spirits whose North American headquarters are in Norwalk, posted sales growth in the second half of last year that was driven in part by improved performance in the U.S. spirits business and its Scotch portfolio.
The London-based company, whose products extend from Guinness and Baileys liqueur to Smirnoff, Crown Royal and Gordon’s gin, said its net sales for the period ending Dec. 31, 2016 totaled £6.4 billion ($8.1 billion), a 14.5 percent year-over-year increase, while its operating profit of £2.1 billion was up 28 percent from the same period last year.
Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes told CNBC that the company “clearly benefited” by the 18 percent fall in the pound since the June 2016 U.K. vote to leave the European Union.
North America delivered net sales growth of 3 percent, while U.S. spirits net sales were up by 4 percent. North American whiskey net sales were up 15 percent as Crown Royal and Bulleit bourbon continued to gain share. Scotch growth in the territory was driven by reserve variants and Johnnie Walker Black Label, with net sales up 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively.