Dow Jones Newswires: Diageo downbeat on guidance as net profit falls

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Diageo PLC on Thursday reported a 5.6% fall in net profit for the first half of fiscal 2020, and said it expects full-year organic net sales growth to be at the lower end of its mid-term guidance.

The world’s largest liquor maker DGE, -1.16%, which owns Johnnie Walker whisky and Tanqueray gin, made a net profit for the half year ended Dec. 31, 2019 of 1.87 billion pounds ($2.43 billion) compared with GBP1.98 billion for the same period in 2018.

Operating profit, one of the company’s preferred metrics, was GBP2.44 billion compared with GBP2.43 billion.

Sales rose 4.2% to GBP7.2 billion, Diageo said. On an organic basis sales were up 4%, compared with guidance given in September for mid-4% to 6%.

The board has declared an interim dividend of 27.41 pence a share, up from 26.1 pence for the half year ended Dec. 31, 2018.

Chief Executive Ivan Menezes said the company isn’t immune from policy changes given the uncertainty in the global trade environment.