Page last updated at 07:56 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Guinness firm cuts profit target

Pints of Guinness

The world's biggest alcoholic drinks group, Diageo, has reported a rise in six-month profits but cut its forecast for the full year.

Pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of December 2008 rose 3.2% to 1.4bn at the Guinness-brewer.

But it said that the current economic conditions meant it was cutting its forecast for full-year operating profit growth to 4%-6% from 7%-9%.

Diageo is the company behind Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka.

"Current economic trends indicate that consumer confidence will reduce further and the outlook for the second half is more difficult to predict," said Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh.

"However, across Diageo we have an experienced management team which combined with the consumer appeal of our brands, the effectiveness of our routes to market and our geographic diversity gives us confidence in our business."

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