Diageo’s GB arm grew sales 7% in the past six months thanks to strong performances from the likes of Tanqueray, Guinness and Johnnie Walker, the firm announced.

On a global basis, sales half-year were up 1.7% to reach £6.5 billion, and profit grew 6.1% to £2.2 billion.

Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean enjoyed the strongest performance, but the Smirnoff and Gordon’s supplier said it enjoyed organic growth in all of its major regions.

Charles Ireland, general manager at Diageo Great Britain, Ireland and France, was upbeat about the firm’s UK performance.

“We have had a strong six months in GB, growing net sales 7%,” he said. “We’ve continued to focus on our priorities and brands such as Guinness, Gordon’s and Baileys; built out our reserve brands business, with Tanqueray growing double digit; and brought innovation to consumers, with Gordon’s pink gin and Ciroc French Vanilla.   

“Our gin and beer portfolios showed real strength in the half, with Guinness delivering net sales growth of 8%, driven by Guinness Draught and Hop House 13. In gin, Gordon’s has cemented its position as Britain’s biggest selling gin brand[1] and Tanqueray has made further progress, gaining share and reinforcing its prestige credentials.”

He praised the efforts of his marketing team after announcing the results, adding: “We showcased new campaigns and innovative marketing to reach more consumers. Before Christmas, Bailey’s worked with the Treat Collective on a Treat Stop pop up in Covent Garden serving 5,000 customers in two weeks. Smirnoff also launched the latest chapter of the We’re Open campaign, which included a partnership with the LGBT Foundation.  

“In Scotch, Johnnie Walker was the gift to give over the holiday season and contributed to GB’s double-digit growth in Scotch. The limited edition Johnnie Walker Black Label, released in partnership with the new Blade Runner film, was a great success, selling out on line and reaching over 6 million people through social media.”