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Diageo Plc Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection

Diageo plc

ISIN: GB0002374006 , WKN: 851247

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Description of the company


Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with iconic brands across spirits and beer. We truly understand the consumer and have world-class marketing and innovation skills to build powerful brands that play a positive role in society.

Diageo has built a strong platform for growth. We have grown through investment in our brands, and by acquisition to broaden our geographical footprint and category depth and range.

Our 21 market model(i) has established strong local business units, well positioned to win in increasingly competitive and fast paced operating environments.

We want to make a positive contribution – to society, to communities, to individuals, and to the environment – while continuing to prosper as a business. We actively create the shared value that is part of our heritage, and essential to our future.

Strength through global reach and iconic brands

We build global brands alongside local stars. These brands have broad consumer appeal across geographies to meet demand now and in the future.

Doing business the right way

For us, standards are everything, from how we produce and market our brands, to how we innovate and sell, and in governance and ethics as codified in our Code of Business Conduct.


Diageo’s maturing Scotch whisky is located in warehouses in Scotland (the largest at Blackgrange holding approximately 50% of the group’s maturing Scotch whisky), its maturing Canadian whisky in La Salle and Gimli in Canada and its maturing American whiskey in Kentucky and Tennessee in the United States. In May 2014 the company announced its intention to invest approximately $115 million (£86 million) over three years to build a distillery and six barrel storage warehouses in Shelby County, Kentucky. The new distillery is expected to be in operation by the end of calendar year 2016.

In June 2012, the company announced a multi-year investment plan in Scotch whisky production and inventory and has spent approximately £1 billion to date. The investment program was completed in the year ended 30 June 2016. Investments made during the year ended 30 June 2016 in Clynelish and increases in warehousing capacity to support distilling and maturing activities are intended to provide for long term Scotch sales growth.

Diageo owns a controlling equity stake in United Spirits Limited (USL) which is the leading alcoholic beverage company in India selling over 90 million equivalent cases of Indian-Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). USL has a significant market presence across India and operates 26 owned, 17 leased and 39 third party manufacturing facilities in India and Nepal. USL also operates spirit distillation plants for neutral alcohol, malt spirit, grape spirit and rum spirit with accompanying maturation facilities. USL has many leading Indian brands such as McDowell’s (Indian whisky, rum and brandy), Black Dog (scotch), Signature (Indian whisky), Antiquity (Indian whisky) and Bagpiper (Indian whisky).


Diageo’s principal brewing facility is at the St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin where the capacity was recently expanded to brew all beers sold in Europe and for global exports in particular to the United States. Diageo has breweries in a number of African countries: Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and the Seychelles.

On 1 December 2015, Diageo disposed of its 25% equity stake in Sedibeng Brewery (Pty) Limited, which owned a brewery in South Africa. On 7 October 2015, Diageo also completed the disposal of its 57.87% shareholding in Desnoes & Geddes (Jamaican Red Stripe business) and its 49.99% stake in GAPL Pte Limited (Singapore and Malaysian beer business) to Heineken. GAPL owns 51% of Guinness Anchor Berhad, operating in Malaysia, which was also disposed of.

Guinness is brewed by over 50 third parties around the world under licence arrangements. Guinness flavour extract is shipped from Ireland to all overseas Guinness brewing operations which use the flavour extract to brew Guinness locally. Guinness Draught in cans and bottles is packaged at Runcorn and Belfast in the United Kingdom. The Runcorn facility performs the kegging of Guinness Draught which is transported to Great Britain in bulk.

Ready to drink

Diageo produces a range of ready to drink products mainly in the United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, Australia, the United States and Canada.

Property, plant and equipment

Diageo owns approximately 95% of the manufacturing, distilling, brewing, bottling and administration facilities it uses across the group’s worldwide operations. It holds approximately 3% of properties on leases in excess of 50 years. The principal production facilities are described above. As at 30 June 2016, Diageo’s land and buildings are included in the group’s consolidated balance sheet at a net book value of £1,083 million. Diageo’s two largest individual facilities, in terms of book value, are the Leven bottling, blending and warehousing facility in Scotland and St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin. Approximately 38% of the net book value of Diageo’s land and buildings are properties located in Great Britain, 14% in India, and 12% both in the United States and Ireland.


Raw materials and supply agreements

The group has a number of long term contracts in place for the purchase of raw materials including glass, other packaging, spirit, cream, rum and grapes. Forward contracts are in place for the purchase of cereals to minimise the effects of short term price fluctuations.

Cream is the principal raw material used in the production of Irish cream liqueur and is sourced from Ireland. Grapes are used in the production of raki and are sourced from suppliers in Turkey. Other raw materials purchased in significant quantities for the production of spirits and beer are molasses, cereals, sugar and a number of flavours (such as juniper berries, agave, aniseed, chocolate and herbs). These are sourced from suppliers around the world.

The majority of products are supplied to customers in glass bottles. Glass is purchased from a variety of multinational and local suppliers; the largest suppliers are Ardagh Packaging in the United Kingdom and Owens Illinois in the United States.


Diageo’s brands compete on the basis of consumer loyalty, quality and price.

In spirits, Diageo’s major global competitors are Pernod Ricard, Beam Suntory, Bacardi and Brown Forman, each of which has several brands that compete directly with Diageo’s brands. In addition, Diageo faces competition from local and regional companies in the countries in which it operates.

In beer, Diageo competes globally as well as on a regional and local basis (with the profile varying between regions) with several competitors, including AB InBev, Heineken, SABMiller, Molson Coors and Carlsberg.

Research and development

Innovation forms an important part of Diageo’s growth strategy, playing a key role in positioning its brands for continued growth in both the developed and emerging markets. The strength and depth of Diageo’s brand range provides a solid platform from which to drive innovation. Diageo continuously invests to deepen its understanding of shopper trends and changing consumer habits to inform product and packaging development. Supporting this, the group has ongoing programmes to develop new products across beverage alcohol categories which are managed internally by the innovation and research and development function, which also takes advantage of a substantial open innovation network.

In the year ended 30 June 2016, the group’s research and development expenditure amounted to £28 million (2015 — £26 million; 2014 — £24 million), representing principally the cost of developing new products, from idea generation through to full product development. Research and development expenditure is generally written off in the year in which it is incurred.


Diageo produces, sells and distributes branded goods and is therefore substantially dependent on the maintenance and protection of its trademarks. All brand names mentioned in this document are trademarks. The group also holds numerous licences and trade secrets, as well as having substantial trade knowledge related to its products. The group believes that its significant trademarks are registered and/or otherwise protected (insofar as legal protection is available) in all material respects in its most important markets. Diageo also owns valuable patents and trade secrets for technology and takes all reasonable steps to protect these rights.

Regulations and taxes

Diageo’s worldwide operations are subject to extensive regulatory requirements regarding production, product liability, distribution, importation, marketing, promotion, sales, pricing, labelling, packaging, advertising, labour, pensions, compliance and control systems and environmental issues. In the United States, the beverage alcohol industry is subject to strict federal and state government regulations. At the federal level, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department oversees the industry, and each state as well as some local authorities in jurisdictions in which Diageo sells or produces products, have regulations. Federal, state and local regulations cover virtually every aspect of its operations, including production, distribution, marketing, promotion, sales, pricing, labelling, packaging and advertising.


Spirits, beer and wine are subject to national import and excise duties in many markets around the world. Most countries impose excise duties on beverage alcohol products, although the form of such taxation varies significantly from a simple application to units of alcohol by volume, to advanced systems based on imported or wholesale value of the product. Several countries impose additional import duty on distilled spirits, often discriminating between categories (such as Scotch whisky or bourbon) in the rate of such tariffs. Within the European Union, such products are subject to different rates of excise duty in each country, but within an overall European Union framework, there are minimum rates of excise duties that can be applied.

Import and excise duties can have a significant impact on the final pricing of Diageo’s products to consumers. These duties have an impact on the competitive position as compared to other brands. The group devotes resources to encouraging the equitable taxation treatment of all beverage alcohol categories and to reducing government-imposed barriers to fair trading.

Advertising, marketing and sales of alcohol are subject to various restrictions in markets around the world. These range from a complete prohibition of alcohol in certain cultures and countries, such as in certain states in India, and through the prohibition of the import of spirits, wine and beer, to restrictions on the advertising style, media and messages used. In a number of countries, television is a prohibited medium for spirits brands and in other countries, television advertising, while permitted, is carefully regulated. Many countries also regulate the use of internet-based advertising and social media in connection with alcohol sales.

Spirits, beer and wine are also regulated in distribution. In many countries, alcohol may only be sold through licensed outlets, both on and off trade, varying from government or state operated monopoly outlets (for example, Canada, Norway and certain US states) to the common system of licensed on trade outlets (for example, licensed bars and restaurants) which prevails in much of the Western world (for example, most US states and the European Union). In about one-third of the states in the United States, price changes must be filed or published 30 days to three months, depending on the state, before they become effective.

Labelling of beverage alcohol products is also regulated in many markets, varying from health warning labels to importer identification, alcohol strength and other consumer information. As well as producer, importer or bottler identification, specific warning statements related to the risks of drinking beverage alcohol products are required to be included on all beverage alcohol products sold in the United States and in other countries where Diageo operates. Expressions of political concern signify the uncertain future of beverage alcohol products advertising on network television in the United States. Any prohibitions on advertising or marketing could have an adverse impact on sales of the group.

Regulatory decisions and changes in the legal and regulatory environment could increase Diageo’s costs and liabilities or impact on its business activities.

Acquisitions and disposals

Diageo has disposed of its wines and certain beer assets in the year ended 30 June 2016. For a description of principal acquisitions and disposals since 1 July 2013, see note 9 to the consolidated financial statements.


Approximately 40% of Diageo’s annual net sales occur in the last four months of each calendar year.



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