Preliminary results, year ended 30 June 2014

31 Jul 2014 | Press release

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Created a stronger business in a tougher environment

  • Net sales, up 0.4%, reflecting mixed performance; growth in North America, stability in Western Europe and weakness in emerging market economies
  • Fourth quarter net sales up 0.8%
  • Positive consumer trends in higher priced categories, Diageo''s reserve brands net sales were up 14% and targeted price increases drove 3ppt of positive price/mix
  • Operating margin improved 0.8ppt
  • Procurement driven savings, worth 4% of total marketing spend, more than offset the cost of increased activity, contributing 0.2ppt of the total margin improvement
  • Eps before exceptionals was down 7.6p to 95.5 pence per share as foreign exchange movements reduced eps by 10 pence per share
  • Free cash flow was £1,235 million
  • Recommended final dividend of 32.0 pence per share, up 9%

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, commenting on the year ended 30 June 2014

"This year our business has faced macroeconomic and market specific challenges that have impacted our top line performance. But we have gained share and expanded margin while continuing to invest in our brands, our markets and our people to create a stronger business that will deliver on the long term growth opportunities of this attractive industry.

Our regional performance has been mixed. In North America we have again delivered top line growth and significant margin expansion and our Western European business is now stable. Emerging market weakness, often currency related, but also including some specific issues, such as the anti extravagance measures in China, has led to weaker top line growth.

When I became CEO a year ago I aligned the business behind the key performance drivers which will deliver our strategy. We have made good progress. Reserve has performed strongly; innovation has driven incremental sales in all regions; route to consumer initiatives have been embedded across a number of markets with more to follow in fiscal 15; ruthless focus on driving out cost has driven margin improvement and we have reshaped the organisation and enhanced skills and capability across the whole team at Diageo. We have made progress in accelerating the performance of our premium core brands but these brands have been under pressure given the environment this year, although we have delivered share gains in a number of markets.

The tougher trading environment this year has confirmed my view that these six priorities give the business clarity and focus. We have simplified the organisation, freeing up everyone to act like an owner and sell or help to sell, changing behaviours across the business.

Therefore we start fiscal 15 as a more agile organisation, building on the changes in behaviours that have been made across the business this year. The catalysts for a near term recovery of consumer spend in the emerging markets are still weak however the future growth drivers for this industry, its aspirational nature as consumers in the emerging markets see increasing disposable income, are undiminished. Diageo has leading brand and market positions and financial strength and our recent acquisitions have given us a strong emerging market footprint. The opportunity for Diageo to realise our full potential and deliver our performance ambition remains an exciting one."