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Spirits maker Diageo posts 16% rise in first-half sales -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A bartender at Almaty’s Barmaglot, Kazakhstan on June 22, 2017 takes a Johnnie Walker whisky bottle. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/

LONDON (Reuters] -Diageo, which makes Johnnie Walker whisky, and Tanqueray gin announced Thursday that their first-half sales rose almost 16% because more customers bought higher-end spirits, and increased orders when bars reopened after being locked down by coronavirus.

The operating profit saw a 22.5% increase to 2.7 billion Pounds (or $3.62 billion) during the six months ended Dec. 31. It also increased its operating margin by 190 basis point. Diageo (LON:) said.

The net sales increased 15.8% to 8 Billion Pounds.

Shoppers stocking up at home on alcohol during the COVID-19 epidemic has helped to make this world’s biggest spirits manufacturer. They often trade up for more expensive spirits.

Also, as lockdowns began to ease, especially in Europe, North America and North America have seen bars restock their inventory, often buying more than last year.

Rival Remy Cointreau said this week that it believes demand in China for premium cognac, Americas and Europe will drive profit growth. The French spirit group has exceeded quarterly forecasts.

($1 = 0.7450 pounds)

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