New CEO of Johnnie Walker-maker Diageo maintains FY guidance
In one of her first public statements for the company since her predecessor Sir Ivan Menezes died in June, Debra Crew said that the company is "well-positioned" to deliver 5 per cent to 7 per cent organic net sales growth between the 2023 and 2025 financial years.
She said the company was resilient and can navigate the headwinds caused by the economy, stating: "As I take the helm as chief executive of Diageo, I am excited to lead our teams around the world and by the many growth opportunities we see in front of us. Our expectations for the 2024 fiscal year are unchanged from when we reported our 2023 preliminary results on August 1.
"While we expect operating environment challenges to persist, with ongoing cost pressure and geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty, we will move with speed and agility and continue to invest in marketing and innovation. I am confident in the resilience of our business and our ability to navigate these headwinds while executing our strategic priorities."
Ms Crew had to step up into the chief executive position early after her predecessor Sir Ivan died following a short illness. He had led the drinks maker, which also owns Guinness and Smirnoff and is behind the Johnnie Walker Princes Street visitor attraction in Edinburgh, for around a decade.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: “The new boss of Diageo was remarkably chipper despite headwinds making it hard for consumer-facing businesses to have confidence in their near-term earnings potential. Debra Crew said expectations hadn’t changed since last reporting two months ago, which came as a pleasant surprise to investors who might have expected a less upbeat tone amid uncertain economic conditions.”
The trading update comes just after the Diageo Leven packaging plant in Fife celebrated 50 years of bottling famous spirits brands. It was marked by a visit from local MSP Jenny Gilruth who toured the site and met employees to congratulate them on the anniversary.
Leven is Diageo’s largest packaging plant in the world, responsible for producing brands such as Tanqueray, Gordon’s, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Johnnie Walker, Talisker and Lagavulin, which are exported to 180 countries.
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