Diageo hails marketing as sales increase

Diageo, owner of the Guinness and Smirnoff brands, has hailed its “focussed” marketing spend as it reports an increase in sales.

Guinness campaign
Guinness campaign

The drinks maker says net sales in Britain grew 5% in the six months to 31 December , while global sales increased to £6.9bn from £6.7bn a year earlier.

Diageo credited “focussed” marketing activity such as the Guinness 250th anniversary campaign and the “BE THERE” activity for Smirnoff for the sales bump in Britain.

Guinness’ birthday campaign and recent “Bring it to Life” repositioning helped the brand post its highest ever share of the UK beer category in the on-trade at 7.6%, the company says.

Despite the plaudits, marketing spend fell 5% globally and 14% in Europe in the first-half of its financial year as a result of media deflation and “procurement efficiencies”.

Diageo says first-half net profit fell to £1bn from £1.1bn in the same period 2008, hit by a “weak consumer environment” in many markets.

Paul Walsh, chief executive of Diageo, says despite the profit dip it is in the “early stages of recovery with more encouraging signs in the emerging and developing markets.”

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