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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 09:02 GMT
Diageo toasts strong sales in US
Bottles of Smirnoff Vodka
Sales of Smirnoff contributed to Diageo's strong performance
Drinks giant Diageo has unveiled a rise in profits, buoyed by strong sales of spirits in the US.

Pre-tax profits before one-offs rose to 1.24bn in the six months to December, up from 1.19bn during the same period last year.

Across the globe, the US was the best performing market, with a 7% rise in like-for-like sales despite warnings.

But in Europe, sales were flat as demand for ready-mixed drinks continued to suffer, with revenues slumping 23%.

On the brands front, Smirnoff vodka, Johnnie Walker whisky, Captain Morgan rum and Jose Cuervo tequila drove sales.

But, while Guinness was popular in the US, sales slipped 2% - including a 3% drop in the UK and a 2% dip in Ireland - with Diageo blaming a weak beer market and the hot summer for the slip.

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