VIETNAM: Diageo has struck a deal with Hanoi Liquor Joint Stock Company to boost its presence in the Asian market. The spirits giant has agreed to acquire a 23.6% stake in Halico from VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunity Fund, for about £33m.

"Halico is Vietnam's number one local spirits company with the number one vodka brand, Vodka Hanoi," said Diageo Asia Pacific president Gilbert Ghostine. "Its strong distribution and recent investment into its state-of-the-art production facility speaks of its ambitions in this market."

AUSTRALIA: Woolworths has cut its profits forecast for the first half of 2011 on the back of dampened consumer spending and poor weather conditions. Net profits after tax for the six months to 2 January would rise by between 5% and 6%, the group said, lower than the 8% to 11% range it previously forecast.

"A degree of uncertainty exists over the next six months trading," said company secretary Peter Horton. "The market is expected to remain competitive with a less confident consumer who is spending less money while having a greater propensity to save."

RUSSIA: PepsiCo has received Russian regulatory approval to acquire juice and dairy company Wimm-Bill-Dann. A subsidiary of PepsiCo will acquire 66% of Wimm-Bill-Dann from the group's shareholders and subsidiaries for £2.4bn.

The deal will make PepsiCo the largest food and beverage business in Russia and strengthens its position in Eastern European and Central Asian markets. The acquisition will also raise PepsiCo's annual global revenues from nutritious and functional foods from £6.3bn to £8.1bn.

GERMANY: Fresh produce giant Fyffes has snapped up a stake in German fruit group VanWylick. Fyffes acquired 33.3% of the business, which has a network of banana ripening centres across Germany and has annual sales of £172m.

The Allerding family, which previously owned the business outright, retains a third of the company's shares. VanWylick recently sold a further third of the business to fellow German group Gemüsering.