Home Digital Marketing Diageo warns on profit as LatAm, Caribbean demand falters, shares slide

Diageo warns on profit as LatAm, Caribbean demand falters, shares slide

(Reuters) -Johnnie Walker whisky maker Diageo said on Friday it expected organic operating profit growth to decline in the first half of its current financial year due to “materially weaker” performance in Latin America and Caribbean.

Shares in the world’s largest spirits company fell 8.5% to 2,970 pence in early trading, making it the top loser on London’s blue-chip index.

“Macroeconomic pressures in the region are resulting in lower consumption and consumer downtrading,” the world’s biggest spirits company said in a statement.

“These impacts are slowing down progress in reducing channel inventory to appropriate levels for the current environment.”

Sales in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) market, which generates nearly 11% of total sales, are now expected to decline by more than 20% in the six months ended December, the company added.

Meanwhile in Europe, growth continues to be strong despite geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, albeit the pace is slower than the second half of the previous financial year, Diageo said.

For the year ended June 30, the maker of Tanqueray gin and Don Julio tequila narrowly beat earnings estimates as sales of its more expensive liquor brands offset lower volumes.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)