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Diageo reports £2.24bn profits

The spirits company's full-year profit rose 1.5 per cent, boosted by sales in emerging markets

The world's largest spirits company, Diageo, on Thursday reported pre-tax profits of £2.24bn in the year to the end of June - an increase from £1.61bn last year.

The company's full-year profit rose 1.5 per cent as sales from emerging markets helped it bounce back from a feeble first half and relatively poor performance in the North American and European markets.

The company, whose brands include Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Guinness stout, raised its final dividend by 6 per cent to 23.5p a share.

"The impact of the global economic crisis varied by market and the strength of the recovery appears to be equally variable," said Diageo chief Paul Walsh.

Walsh also said that the global diversity of the company's business, together with the strength and range of its brands, gives it confidence to improve on its organic operating growth in fiscal 2011.

Diageo did not disclose its second-half results.