Diageo Great Britain has delivered its third year of continuous growth, with net sales up 4%, its highest rate of top-line growth for a decade.
Charles Ireland, general manager for GB, Ireland and France said that growth for the year ended 30 June had been driven by luxury division Diageo Reserve, which saw net sales rise by 26%, largely due to Cîroc and scotch malt sales.
Cîroc grew volume by 30% over the last 12 months, overtaking Grey Goose to become the leading super premium vodka brand in 2015.
'Share gains in scotch whisky have come through a focus on new flavour-led malts, particularly Talisker Skye and Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold,' Ireland added. This year also marks the 200th anniversary of Lagavulin, with celebratory events and tastings in Islay and around the world organised to boost sales.
Meanwhile, Guinness recorded its second full year of growth, with sales up 1% in the UK. Ireland said the brand’s success had been driven by the Brewers Project innovation pipeline, which has seen it launch several new craft-led iterations including Guinness Dublin Porter and Hop House 13 Lager.
Distribution for Hop House 13 grew to over 1,500 outlets, while Guinness draught grew share in the on-trade, he said, with just below a million extra pints sold in British outlets versus the year before.
Other brands in growth include Tanqueray, which saw double-digit net sales growth, while Smirnoff net sales were up 1% supported by a full year of the ‘We’re Open’ advertising campaign. Baileys performance accelerated with net sales up 11% driven by increased off-trade visibility and on-trade activation, including the promotion of its Flat White Martini serve, and the ‘When Coffee Met Baileys’ Instagram campaign.