Diageo (LON:DGE) has updated investors on its full-year performance this morning.
Highlights from the company statement:
· Reported net sales (£12.1 billion) and operating profit (£3.6 billion) were up 15% and 25%, respectively, reflecting favourable exchange and accelerated organic growth
· All regions contributed to broad based organic net sales growth, up 4.3%, and organic volume grew 1.1%
· Organic operating profit grew 5.6%, ahead of top line growth, driven by good progress on productivity partially offset by implementation costs and one-off items
· Free cash flow continued to be strong at £2.7 billion, increasing by £566 million compared to the prior year, with net cash from operating activities up £584 million to £3.1 billion
· Basic eps of 106.0 pence was up 18%. Pre-exceptional eps was 108.5 pence, up 21%, as higher organic operating profit and associate income along with favourable exchange more than offset the impact of disposals and a higher tax rate
· We continue to expect mid-single digit organic net sales growth and are raising our margin improvement objective from 100bps to 175bps over the three years ending 30 June 2019
· On 26 July 2017 the Board approved a share buy-back programme to return up to £1.5 billion to shareholders during F18
· The Board recommended a final dividend increase of 5% bringing the full year dividend to 62.2 pence per share.
Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, commenting on the results said:
"We delivered a strong set of results including broad based improvement in organic net sales and operating profit. Our performance demonstrates the effective delivery of our strategy through disciplined execution of our six priorities put in place four years ago. We have delivered consistent strong performance improvement across all regions and I am pleased with progress in our focus areas of US Spirits, scotch and India.
Our productivity work is delivering ahead of expectations allowing us to reinvest in our brands, drive margin improvement and generate consistent strong cash flow. Through productivity we have embedded an everyday efficiency mind set in the business and with improved data and insight we are making faster, smarter decisions on investment choices.
Diageo is a strong company today and we are confident in our ability to deliver sustainable growth. We are raising our productivity goal to £700 million with two thirds being reinvested in the business. We continue to expect mid-single digit top line growth, and we are raising our operating margin expansion objective to 175bps over the three years ending 30 June 2019.
Following three years of consistently improving cash flow generation the Board has approved a share buy-back programme of up to £1.5 billion in F18."