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Chinese abstinence hits drinks firms Diageo, Remy

By Martinne Geller LONDON (Reuters) - China's crackdown on corruption, and with it luxury gift-giving, has again hit quarterly sales of spirits, European drinks groups Diageo Plc <DGE.L> and Remy Cointreau SA <RCOP.PA> said on Thursday.

Czech brewer Budvar claims victory in Budweiser trademark battle over Anheuser-Busch in Italy

PRAGUE - The state-owned Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar NP says an Italian court has banned its bitter rival Anheuser-Busch InBev from using the Budweiser trademark in that country in the latest ruling in their long legal battle over the brand name. At the same time, Budvar says the Supreme Court allows the Czech brewer to return to the Italian market with its Budweiser Budvar lager in what Budvar director Jiri Bocek calls "a great victory."

Trouble brewing as Guinness celebrates in Ireland

It may be one of the most recognisable Irish brands but a national celebration of all things Guinness on Thursday has not gone down as smoothly as the drinks company might have hoped. The spike in alcohol consumption that accompanied previous "Arthur's Day" celebrations has rekindled concerns about Ireland's relationship with alcohol, and sparked calls for a boycott. Dublin Ambulance Service last year reported a 30 percent rise in call-outs during the event, and healthcare professionals warn it is simply another excuse to get drunk.

Diageo's 'Arthur's Day' faces backlash in home of Guinness

By Padraic Halpin DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Irish are famous around the world for their convivial drinking culture and the cosy pubs that have been copied around the world - but it seems they do not want to be cajoled into an annual celebration of their best-known beer. An Irish minister on Tuesday criticized the international drinks firm Diageo for inventing a "pseudo-national holiday" to market its products, not least the Dublin-brewed Guinness - part of a growing backlash against "Arthur's Day".

Stronger is better: brewers tap India thirst for potent beer

By Aradhana Aravindan and Nandita Bose MUMBAI (Reuters) - With up to 8 percent alcohol, Carlsberg's Tuborg Booster Strong packs a heavier punch than the Danish original and is sold only in India, where consumers in the world's third-fastest growing beer market prefer an extra kick.

Heineken blames consumer weakness in Europe, slowing growth elsewhere for H1 profit decline

AMSTERDAM - Heineken NV issued a gloomy earnings report Wednesday, saying first half profit fell 17 per cent because of bad weather, weak "consumer sentiment" in Europe and the United States, and slowing growth in developing countries. Chief executive Jean Francois van Boxmeer said Wednesday the outlook for the second half is similar. "Although the volume trends have improved in July with the warm summer weather in Europe, economic conditions in several of our core markets continue to constrain consumer spending," he said in a statement.

Molson Coors Q2 profits grow despite poor weather and weak consumer demand

MONTREAL - North American beer maker Molson Coors saw its shares jump Tuesday after the company's second-quarter profit beat expectations despite dismal June weather and weakened consumer demand. The Montreal and Denver-based brewer reported that it earned US$278.4 million profit or $1.51 per diluted share for the period ended June 29. That was up from US$105.1 million or 57 cents per share a year ago after recording fewer acquisition-related items and higher sales volumes than last year.

Budweiser owner InBev says second quarter earnings fell on higher taxes and financing costs

AMSTERDAM - Shares in Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch InBev SA rose strongly Wednesday after the company reported second-quarter earnings down from a year ago but still better than expected. . The world's largest brewer said net profit during the period was $1.50 billion (1.13 billion euros), or $0.93 per share. That was down from $1.94 billion, or $1.21 per share in the same period a year ago. The fall came despite a 1.9 per cent increase in revenues to $10.6 billion, on a mix of higher prices and lower volumes.

Whiskey galore: Distiller Diageo posts 28 per cent profit rise amid higher spirits consumption

LONDON - Drinks company Diageo PLC says rising spirits consumption in the U.S. helped its profit in the year to end-June to swell by 28 per cent to 2.48 billion pounds ($3.79 billion). Diageo, whose brands include Johnnie Walker whiskey, Smirnoff vodka and Guinness stout, said Wednesday that sales rose 6.1 per cent to 15.48 billion pounds from a year earlier.

Guinness maker Diageo says annual profits surge by 28%

Diageo, the world's biggest producer of alcoholic drinks, said Wednesday that annual net profits rallied by almost a third, lifted by strength in the United States and emerging markets. Earnings after taxation soared 28 percent to £2.485 billion ($3.78 billion, 2.86 billion euros) in the 12 months to the end of June, compared with £1.942 billion in the group's previous 2011/2012 financial year, Diageo said in a results statement.
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