With Covid-19 lockdowns ending in many markets, global drinks group Diageo is looking forward to renewed demand just as sales have rebounded to levels last seen in 2019.

Helped primarily by North America, the company’s sales hit £12.7 billion for the fiscal year ended June 2021, up 8% year-on-year. That is about 1% down on the result it produced two years ago for fiscal 2019, before the pandemic started.

North America drives Diageo
How regional growth stacked up versus pre-pandemic

Diageo – whose brands include Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Tanqueray, and Baileys – owes the comeback to North America which grew by 17% versus fiscal 2019. Reported sales at the company’s four other geographic regions: Europe and Turkey; Africa; Latin America and Caribbean; and Asia Pacific, are all still below 2019 levels, the worst affected being Europe and Turkey, down 13%.

North America the star turn

North America has seen resilient consumer demand with spirits taking more share of the total beverage alcohol market, while replenishment of stock levels by distributors and retailers also helped.

CEO Ivan Menezes commented: “Organic net sales growth (was) led by a strong performance in North America, and we held or gained off-trade market share in over 85% of our business. We were well-positioned to manage Covid-19 challenges and we have responded quickly to changing consumer trends. I remain optimistic about the growth prospects for our industry, with spirits continuing to gain share of total beverage alcohol globally and premiumisation trends remaining strong.”

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