- Alcoholic drinks maker Diageo said its profit more than halved on the back of lower sales and a $1.3bn hit from impairments owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the six months ended 30 June, pre-tax profit fell to £2.0bn from £4.2bn on-year as sales slipped 8.7% to £11.8bn.

Volume fell 12% to 217m.

Exceptional operating items included non-cash impairment charges of £1.3bn, across its businesses including in India, Nigeria, Ethiopia and on the Windsor brand in Korea, reflecting 'the impact of Covid-19 and challenging trading conditions,' the company said.

The final recommended dividend of 42.47 pence per share was unchanged on-year, taking the full year dividend to 69.88p per share, an increase of 2%.

'Given the continued uncertainty caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we are not able to provide specific financial guidance and as such not able to provide the expected impact of exchange for the year ending 30th June 2021,' Diageo said.

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