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Jul 30, 2015

Diageo signals turnaround after another flat year

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – Diageo, the world’s
largest spirits company, signalled a turnaround this year,
following two years of flat sales due to issues including
wholesaler destocking and discounting in vodka.

The London-based maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff
vodka and Guinness beer on Thursday said organic net sales
growth for the full year ended 30 June was flat, as it was the
previous year. Analysts on average were expecting growth of 0.2
percent, according to a consensus provided by the company.

Jul 29, 2015

British American Tobacco beats expectations, shares up

LONDON (Reuters) – British American Tobacco (BATS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s No. 2 cigarette company, reported better-than-expected performance for the second quarter, helped by cost savings and market share gains.

Shares in the company, which makes Dunhill and Lucky Strike cigarettes, were up 2.8 percent at 0718 GMT (3.18 a.m. EDT).

Jul 24, 2015

U.S. watchdog questions Smirnoff maker Diageo’s U.S. distribution

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) – British spirits maker Diageo
is under scrutiny in the United States, where the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has asked for
information to see whether it shipped excess inventory to U.S.
distributors, a practice known as “channel stuffing”.

A spokeswoman for Diageo, the world’s biggest spirits
company with brands including Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker
whisky, confirmed the company received an inquiry from the SEC
and was responding to its questions.

Jul 23, 2015

Unilever’s second-quarter sales top estimates

LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) – Unilever
reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales on Thursday,
driven by gains in its home and personal care units, and stood
by its full-year outlook.

The results provide evidence that the Anglo-Dutch maker of
Dove soap, Lipton tea and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is recovering
from a weak 2014, when its business was hammered by slowing
emerging markets and currency devaluations. Still, it warned
that consumer demand remained weak.

Jul 3, 2015

Greek bank closures may deplete supermarket shelves

LONDON/ATHENS (Reuters) – A halt to international payments from Greek bank accounts is hurting Greek businesses and their foreign partners and threatening supplies of vital goods like food and clothing into the debt-crippled country.

With banks closed, people limited to withdrawing 60 euros ($66.62) per day and Greece’s future in the euro possibly hinging on a referendum on Sunday, Greek shoppers have been stocking up on essentials like sugar, flour, pasta, rice, beans, canned and paper goods.

Jun 9, 2015

Interview: E-cigs a ‘consumer-driven’ revolution born from a bad dream

LONDON (Reuters) – Before Hon Lik invented the e-cigarette, a device now shaking up the Big Tobacco industry, he was a pharmacist in China struggling to quit a two-to-three pack a day smoking habit.

Once in 2002, Hon forgot to remove a nicotine patch from his stomach before bed and had nightmares all night. He traced it to the continuous dose of nicotine and then realised it was precisely that steady release that made patches inadequate for him.

Jun 9, 2015

cigs a ‘consumer-driven’ revolution born from a bad dream

LONDON (Reuters) – Before Hon Lik invented the e-cigarette, a device now shaking up the Big Tobacco industry, he was a pharmacist in China struggling to quit a two-to-three pack a day smoking habit.

Once in 2002, Hon forgot to remove a nicotine patch from his stomach before bed and had nightmares all night. He traced it to the continuous dose of nicotine and then realized it was precisely that steady release that made patches inadequate for him.

May 21, 2015

Insight – New breed of food executives raised on mergers, not marketing

LONDON (Reuters) – The consumer goods world has long been dominated by marketing whiz kids raised through the ranks of Procter & Gamble (PG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) or PepsiCo, (PEP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) but the executives now in demand come from a new school that values cost-cutting and mergers over marketing.

The new playbook, embodied by U.S. private equity firm 3G Capital, applies cutthroat Wall Street sensibilities to Main Street shopping aisles, demanding the highest performance from fewer people willing to work extra hard and progress quickly.

May 21, 2015

New breed of food execs raised on mergers, not marketing

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – The consumer goods world has long
been dominated by marketing whiz kids raised through the ranks
of Procter & Gamble or PepsiCo, but the
executives now in demand come from a new school that values
cost-cutting and mergers over marketing.

The new playbook, embodied by U.S. private equity firm 3G
Capital, applies cutthroat Wall Street sensibilities to Main
Street shopping aisles, demanding the highest performance from
fewer people willing to work extra hard and progress quickly.

May 6, 2015

Imperial shuns “heating products” pushed by Big Tobacco rivals

LONDON, May 6 (Reuters) – Imperial Tobacco Group is
taking a different path to its rivals as the industry searches
for the most promising technology for e-cigarettes and other
“vaping” products that could eventually outsell cigarettes.

It’s rare for the top competitors in a global business to
have such contrasting visions of the future but the British
company has no taste for the tobacco heating products that
others are embracing alongside e-cigarettes as potentially less
toxic alternatives to traditional cigarettes.