Disappointing performances from Archers Aqua and Gordon's Edge in Great Britain were offset by strong growth in Smirnoff Ice, Blossom Hill wine and Baileys in the first half for drinks giant Diageo.
GB ready-to-drink volume sales were up 4% in the six months to December 31, however, increases in excise duty had hit margins, said chief executive Paul Walsh. Although Gordon's Gin performed well, rtd spin-off Gordon's Edge sold only 20,000 cases since its May launch. GB volumes in Archers Aqua fell by 19%.
Diageo posted a 5% rise in pre-exceptional pre-tax profit to £1.29bn.
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