Diageo sees signs of recovery in U.S. market

on 14/12/10 at 11:13 am

Industry

U.K.-based Diageo PLC, the world’s largest spirits company by volume, said Tuesday it is seeing signs of a recovery in demand in the U.S., though the consumer environment in the country remains unsettled.

“The fiscal 2011 situation remains unsettled, but we see signs of recovery. There is still high unemployment and low consumer confidence, but there are emerging, positive signs of life in fall retail sales. We are encouraged (by that),” Ivan Menezes, Diageo’s president of North America and chairman of the Asia-Pacific region, said on a call with investors.

Menezes said its tequila brand, Jose Cuervo, is showing “sequential” volume growth, despite “sluggish” brand positioning. On the group’s spiced rum, Captain Morgan, he said the company is determined to keep a price status as befits the premium segment, in the face of competition from lower-cost rivals.

“We remain positive about the (U.S.) outlook for the first half. We are confident that our brands and businesses are well-positioned,” he said.

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