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Diageo significantly impacted by Covid-19 in H2

Diageo plc (LON:DGE) has announced its preliminary results for the year ended 30 June 2020.

    Reported net sales (£11.8 billion) were down 8.7% driven by organic declines. Reported operating profit (£2.1 billion) declined 47.1%, driven mainly by exceptional operating items and organic net sales.

   Organic net sales were down 8.4%, with growth in North America more than offset by declines in all other regions. Organic volumes were down 11.2%.

   Organic operating profit was down 14.4%, ahead of organic net sales, driven by volume declines, cost inflation and unabsorbed fixed costs that were partially offset by short term cost reductions and ongoing productivity benefits.

    Solid cash flow delivery with net cash from operating activities at £2.3 billion, £0.9 billion lower than prior period and free cash flow at £1.6 billion, £1.0 billion lower than prior period, in each case largely due to lower organic operating profit, lower dividends from associates, one-off tax impacts and increased working capital use.

•     Measures have been put in place to reinforce Diageo’s already solid liquidity including pausing the current three-year return of capital programme, bringing forward a £2.0bn USD bond issuance launched in April 2020 and putting in place an additional committed credit facility of £2.5 billion.

•   Exceptional operating items included non-cash impairment charges of £1.3 billion. These were in India, Nigeria, Ethiopia and on the Windsor brand in Korea, reflecting the impact of Covid-19 and challenging trading conditions.

   Basic eps of 60.1 pence decreased by 54.0% primarily due to exceptional operating items. Pre-exceptional eps declined 16.4% to 109.4 pence, driven primarily by lower operating profit.

•    The final recommended dividend of 42.47 pence per share is the same as the final dividend for fiscal 19. This brings the full year dividend for fiscal 20 to 69.88 pence per share, an increase of 2%.

See Explanatory Notes for explanation and reconciliation of non-GAAP measures.

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, commenting on the results said:

“Fiscal 20 was a year of two halves: after good, consistent performance in the first half of fiscal 20, the outbreak of Covid-19 presented significant challenges for our business, impacting the full year performance. Through these challenging times we have acted quickly to protect our people and our business, and to support our customers, partners and communities.

The actions we have taken to strengthen Diageo over the last six years provide a solid foundation to respond to the impacts of the pandemic. We are now a more agile, efficient and effective business.

We have taken decisive action through the second half of fiscal 20, tightly managing our costs, reducing discretionary expenditure and reallocating resources across the group. We are further enhancing our data analytics and technology tools to rapidly respond to local consumer and customer shifts triggered by the pandemic. We have strengthened liquidity, giving us flexibility to continue to invest effectively in the business for the long term. 

While the trajectory of the recovery is uncertain, with volatility expected to continue into fiscal 21, I am confident in our strategy, the resilience of our business and am very proud of the way our people have responded. We are well-positioned to emerge stronger.”

Outlook for exchange 

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. 

Outlook for tax 

The tax rate before exceptional items for the year ended 30 June 2020 was 21.7%, consistent with our guidance of 21% to 22% and compared with 20.6% in the prior comparable period. We continue to expect a tax rate before exceptional items for the year ending 30 June 2021 in the range of 21% to 22%. For further details on taxation see Summary Income Statement (e) Taxation and Notes, Taxation.

Return of capital

On 25 July 2019, the Board approved plans for a further return of capital programme of up to £4.5 billion to shareholders over the three-year period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2022, utilising the most appropriate mechanic of either share buybacks or special dividends depending on market conditions.

On 1 August 2019, Diageo entered into a non-discretionary agreement with a third party to execute the first phase of this return of capital programme to enable the company to buy back shares up to a maximum of £1.25 billion by 31 January 2020. This agreement was executed in full with 38.7 million shares repurchased to a value of £1.25 billion. The shares purchased under the share buyback programme were cancelled. On 9 April 2020 Diageo announced that it had not initiated the next phase of the three-year programme and that it would not do so during the remainder of fiscal 2020.

At 30 June 2020 the leverage ratio, calculated as adjusted net debt to adjusted EBITDA, was 3.3x and Diageo anticipates leverage to be above the target range of 2.5-3.0x through the year ending 30 June 2021. As such Diageo does not currently plan to reinitiate the programme until the leverage ratio is back within the target range.

Reported net sales declined 8.7%, driven mainly by decline in organic net sales and, to a lesser extent, the negative impact of acquisitions and disposals, partially offset by favourable foreign exchange.

Organic net sales declined 8.4% driven by an 11.2% reduction in volume partially offset by 2.8% positive price/mix. All regions reported declines in organic net sales except for North America and this shift in market mix was the main driver behind the positive price/mix. 

Reported operating profit was down 47.1% mainly driven by exceptional operating items and by decline in organic operating profit. Exceptional operating items were mainly driven by non-cash impairments in India, Korea, Nigeria and Ethiopia due to Covid-19 and challenging trading conditions.

Organic operating profit declined ahead of net sales at 14.4% with first half growth of 4.6% more than offset by impact of Covid-19 in the second half.

Reported operating margin declined 1,323bps mainly driven by exceptional operating items and decline in organic operating margin.

Organic operating margin declined 212bps driven by lower volumes impacting fixed cost absorption, cost inflation and other expense offsetting savings in marketing investment and productivity benefits from cost efficiencies.

Basic eps decreased 70.6 pence principally due to impairments in exceptional items and the decline in organic operating profit. For further detail see Summary Income Statement (c) Exceptional items and Notes, Exceptional items.

Eps before exceptional items decreased 21.4 pence driven by decline in organic operating profit, lower income from associates and joint ventures, increased finance charges and the impact of acquisitions and disposals. These were partially offset by tax, lower non-controlling interests and the impact of the share buyback programme.

Net cash from operating activities was £2,320 million, a decrease of £928 million compared to the prior period. Free cash flow was £1,634 million, £974 million lower compared to prior period primarily driven by the decline in operating profit, lower dividends from joint ventures and associates (see note 14(g) Notes) increased use of working capital, higher tax payments and higher interest charges. The tax increase was mainly due to one-off tax settlements and change in payment timing in the first half, which was partially offset by lower tax on reduced earnings in the second half as well as some delay in second half payments associated with Covid-19

ROIC decreased 267bps against the prior comparable period driven mainly by organic operating profit decline.  

Webcast, presentation slides and transcript

At 07.15 (UK time) on Tuesday 4 August 2020, Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive and Kathryn Mikells, Chief Financial Officer will present Diageo’s preliminary results as a webcast. This will be available to view at www.diageo.com.

The presentation slides and script will also be available to download from www.diageo.com at 07.15 (UK time). A transcript of the Q&A session will be available for download on Wednesday 5 August at www.diageo.com.

Live Q&A conference call and replay

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive and Kathryn Mikells, Chief Financial Officer will be hosting a Q&A conference call on Tuesday 4 August at 09:30 (UK time). If you would like to listen to the call or ask a question, please use the dial in details below.

From the UK:+44 (0)330 336 9105
From the UK (free call):0800 358 6377 
From the USA:+1 323 794 2093
From the USA (free call):866 548 4713

The conference call is for analysts and investors only. To join the call please use the password already sent to you or email suzanne.austin@diageo.com.

To hear a replay of the call, please use the telephone numbers below:

From the UK:+44 (0)20 7660 0134
From the UK (free call):0808 101 1153 
From the USA:+1 719 457 0820
From the USA (free call):888 203 1112

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