Drinks group Diageo had an impressive performance in the six months to December 31. Group chief executive Colin McGrath said: "Our strategy is one based on well managed brands." He reported an exceptional performance for Smirnoff, Gordon's, Bells and Baileys in the UK. The poorest performing of the divisions was Pillsbury and the food operation, including Häagen Dazs, Old Elpaso and Green Giant, which returned flat profits. Operating profit was up 10% to £1.15bn on turnover up 7% to £6.6bn. Global volumes were up 6% and operating profit up 14%. Guinness increased global volumes by 2%. {{NEWS }}

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