Diageo Quarterly Sales Up 12 Percent

World's biggest spirits maker reported a 12 percent sales rise for the three months through March as business a year earlier was particularly weak amid the economic crisis.

LONDON (AP) -- Diageo PLC, the world's biggest spirits maker, on Thursday reported a 12 percent sales rise for the three months through March as business a year earlier was particularly weak amid the economic crisis.

The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Guinness stout did not report profit figures for its fiscal third quarter.

For the first nine months of the fiscal year, sales were 4 percent higher than a year earlier, the company said in a trading update.

Chief Executive Paul Walsh said consumer trends remain hard to predict.

"Our guidance for low single digit organic operating profit growth for the full year is unchanged and reflects our successful management of a tough environment in the first half and our continued ability to build on our strengths and increase marketing investment behind our brands," he said.

Diageo shares were up 0.65 percent at 1,088 pence on the London Stock Exchange.

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