Diageo’s shares have plunged after the Johnnie Walker and Guinness owner warned of a major slowdown in sales and warned over profits.
Shares in the spirits and drinks maker dropped around 14pc as markets opened – the steepest fall since 1997 – after the company said it expected sales in Latin America and the Caribbean to drop by as much as 20pc in the first half of its current financial year. Latin America accounts for roughly 11pc of the company’s sales.
Chief executive Debra Crew blamed the slowing global economy, which has dented consumer confidence around the world and prompted shoppers to cut back or buy cheaper drinks.
She said: “That caused lower consumption and really more consumer down trading than what the team was expecting.”
Corporate determinations of likely future sales are where we’d first expect to see signs of a recession.