- Alcoholic drinks maker Diageo said raised its interim dividend even as first-half profit and sales declined amid lower pandemic fuelled sales from pubs and bars.

For the six months ended 31 December, Reported net sales fell 4.5% during the second half of the year, while operating profit declined 8.3% to £2.2 billion.

Net sales in Britain were 2% higher, while sales in the Ireland were and Turkey were down 40% and 11%.

The company raised its interim dividend by 2% to 27.96 pence per share.

'We are not providing specific guidance due to the ongoing volatility. However, we will be lapping the second half of fiscal 20, which was significantly impacted by the onset of Covid-19 and therefore expect to see improvement over this weak comparator period across all regions,' the company said.

'North America, our largest market, performed particularly strongly and ahead of our expectations. Across other regions we delivered strong sequential improvement compared to the second half of fiscal 2020,' it added.

Story provided by