The drinks company made a profit of £1,414 million in the six months to Dec 31 2007, compared to £1,306 million in the same period the previous year.
In the UK, Baileys sales rose 11 per cent, driven, the company says, by a “simplified Christmas pricing strategy”. Smirnoff too benefited from the same pricing strategy and two marketing campaigns which helped push sales up by 4 per cent.
Guinness, which experienced a sales dip during the same period the previous year, saw sales rise 6 per cent. Diageo said a 20 per cent increase in marketing spend and new advertising campaigns were likely to be responsible for the turnaround.
Commenting on the results, Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh, said: “This first half performance demonstrates that our brands are well supported and our routes to market remain strong and therefore, while we continue to watch for any impact that recent financial market volatility may have on broader trading conditions, we are maintaining our guidance for 9 per cent organic operating profit growth for the current fiscal year.”