Game of Thrones whisky lifts Diageo Australia earnings

31 January, 2020 by James Atkinson

The Johnnie Walker Game of Thrones whiskies have contributed to a 13 per cent increase in half yearly net sales for Diageo Australia.

Scotch net sales increased ten per cent in Australia for the six months ended December 31, 2019, parent company Diageo announced yesterday.

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This result was driven by Johnnie Walker Blue Label and the Game of Thrones ‘A Song of Ice’ and ‘A Song of Fire’ releases, the company said.

The Australian division also grew RTD net sales by 12 per cent as Gordon’s Premium Pink Gin & Soda and Tanqueray & Tonic continued to grow, aided by new innovation through Tanqueray Flor
de Sevilla & Soda.

“Gin grew double digit through Gordon’s and Tanqueray whilst Baileys maintained strong growth
driven by both core brand and innovation,” Diageo said.

“Bundaberg net sales grew five per cent as a result of growth from the core variant Bundaberg UP.”

The company reported overall net sales growth of 13 per cent in Australia, “with broad-based growth across categories”.

Globally, vodka represents 11 per cent of Diageo’s net sales and the category declined by one per cent, with growth in Smirnoff offset by a softening of Ketel One and continued declines in Cîroc vodka.

“Smirnoff grew one per cent with a decline in US Spirits more than offset by growth in rest of the world, led by strong growth in Mexico and Australia,” the company said.

Overall, Diageo recorded a 4.2 per cent increase in net sales to £7.2 billion ($14.03 billion) with operating profit up 0.5 per cent to £2.4 billion ($4.68 billion), “driven by organic growth offset by unfavourable exchange, exceptional operating items and acquisitions and disposals”.

Diego chief executive Ivan Menezes said the company expects organic net sales growth to be “towards the lower end” of its four to six per cent guidance for the full year.

“There is ongoing uncertainty in the global trade environment and we would not be immune from further policy changes,” he said.

“We remain focused on building the long-term health of our brands, supported by data-led insights and a culture of everyday efficiency.”