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Diageo Shares Plunge As Maker of Guinness, Johnny Walker Issues Warning on Profit

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Key Takeaways

  • Diageo warned that slumping sales in Latin America and the Caribbean will drag down first half fiscal 2024 sales and profit.
  • The world’s biggest spirits maker blamed “macroeconomic pressures in the region” for the expected drop in revenue.
  • ADRs of Diageo plunged more than 10% to their lowest level in three years.

American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) of Diageo Plc (DEO) plunged after the world’s largest spirits maker warned its profit and revenue will be hurt by falling demand in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The owner of such brands as Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff Vodka and Guinness beer said that it anticipates slower growth in the first half of fiscal 2024 than in the second half of fiscal 2023. It said that was because of “a materially weaker performance outlook in Latin America and Caribbean,” which accounted for almost 11% of the company’s net sales in 2023.

Diageo explained that it sees organic net sales tumbling by more than 20% year-over-year in Latin America and the Caribbean. The company pointed to “macroeconomic pressures in the region” that are resulting in lower consumption and consumer down-trading. It added that those impacts “are slowing down progress in reducing channel inventory to appropriate levels for the current environment.” 

Diageo’s outlook for its other four regions – North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia Pacific – calls for increasing revenue during the first half. However, it expects overall organic operating profit growth in the period to be below 2023’s gains. 

The company’s guidance for the second half of fiscal 2024 is for “a gradual improvement in organic net sales and organic operating profit growth from the first half.”

Diageo shares traded in the U.S. were down 11% in mid-afternoon trading Friday, at their lowest level in three years.

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