- Alcoholic drinks maker Diageo said it would initiate the second phase of its capital return programme of up to £1 billion following 'strong' annual performance.

The company said it expects organic operating profit growth to be at least 14% in fiscal 2021, slightly ahead of organic net sales growth.

The return of capital programme of up to £4.5 billion to shareholders was first announced on 25 July 2019, but the original completion date for the programme had been extended by two years to 30 June 2024.

In the first phase of the £4.5 billion programme, the company repurchased up to £1.25 billion worth of its shares.

Diageo said it expects to be back within the top end of our target leverage ratio of 2.5-to-3.0x at 30 June 2022, post completion of the second phase of the return of capital programme.

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