Diageo Says Alcohol Sales Improving as Bars Gradually Reopen
Bottles of Diageo Plc Johnnie Walker Blue Label blended scotch whisky are displayed at the companys new house in Seoul, South Korea. (Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)

Diageo Says Alcohol Sales Improving as Bars Gradually Reopen

Diageo Plc said it expects business in July to December to improve versus the first six months of the year as bars and restaurants reopen following coronavirus lockdowns.

Sales and operating profit should be better in the company’s fiscal first half, which runs through December, Diageo said Monday. The stock rose as much as 6.4% in London.

Business has improved in all regions since June, and the U.S. is ahead of expectations, Chief Executive Officer Ivan Menezes said in a statement. Bars are open in all states in that market, with some restrictions. In Europe, pubs have largely reopened in most countries, though the company noted the risk of new restrictions where Covid-19 infection rates are worsening.

Diageo repeated however that first-half sales will still be down compared to the year-earlier period and margins will narrow.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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