Shares in FTSE 100 drinks giant Diageo (LON:DGE) sank 4.91% to 2,739.50p (as of 10:45 BST) as reported net sales for the year ended 30th June dropped by 8.7%. The company said that organic volumes were down by 11.2% and reported operating profits plunged by 47.1% as COVID caused severe trading difficulties in the second half.
CEO Ivan Menezes commented: “Fiscal 20 was a year of two halves: after good, consistent performance in the first half of fiscal 20, the outbreak of Covid-19 presented significant challenges for our business, impacting the full year performance. Through these challenging times we have acted quickly to protect our people and our business, and to support our customers, partners and communities.
“The actions we have taken to strengthen Diageo over the last six years provide a solid foundation to respond to the impacts of the pandemic. We are now a more agile, efficient and effective business.
“We have taken decisive action through the second half of fiscal 20, tightly managing our costs, reducing discretionary expenditure and reallocating resources across the group. We are further enhancing our data analytics and technology tools to rapidly respond to local consumer and customer shifts triggered by the pandemic. We have strengthened liquidity, giving us flexibility to continue to invest effectively in the business for the long term.
While the trajectory of the recovery is uncertain, with volatility expected to continue into fiscal 21, I am confident in our strategy, the resilience of our business and am very proud of the way our people have responded. We are well-positioned to emerge stronger“.