Raising a glass to 20 years of global drinks brand Guinness
HUNDREDS of Diageo's employees in Ireland, north and south, are joining 30,400 colleagues from around the world to celebrate the drinks giant's 20-year anniversary this weekend.
Maker of some of the world's most iconic drinks - including Guinness, Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Tanqueray gin - the company was created on December 17 1997, through the merger of Grand Metropolitan plc and Guinness plc, going on to become a global leader in beverage alcohol, with its products being sold in 180 countries.
Over the past 20 years Diageo's share price has increased by 340 per cent, its market capital has grown 440 per cent and earnings per share (pre-exceptional items) are 220 per cent higher.
The milestone is being celebrated around the world - from a time capsule ceremony at Cardhu distillery in Scotland, the home of Johnnie Walker, to employees in Lagos, Nigeria and Sydney toasting the occasion with a dram of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
In London, to mark the celebration, Diageo's chief executive Ivan Menezes, along with the company's team of Scotch whisky blenders and fellow members of the senior leadership team, opened the market at the London Stock Exchange.
Mr Menezes said: “I'm incredibly proud of what has been achieved over the past 20 years, which is testament to the commitment of our talented employees past and present.
"Diageo is a young company created from the incredible entrepreneurial legacy of John Walker, Pierre Smirnoff, Charles Tanqueray, Arthur Guinness and many more – and this spirit continues today.
“Our brands are part of celebrations globally every day, as we mark this milestone, it is not only the growth of our brands and business that I will be toasting, but the way we do business.
"We have made great strides in diversity and inclusion, minimising our environmental impact, our contribution to the communities where we operate and in our aim to reduce the harmful use of alcohol around the world.”
Key milestones for Diageo
• Diageo plc is created through the merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness. The company is listed on the London and New York stock exchanges in December 1997.
• In 2001, Diageo and Pernod Ricard acquired Canadian alcoholic beverages business Seagram's. The acquisition brought Crown Royal Canadian whiskey and Captain Morgan rum into the Diageo brand family.
• Its 'Water of Life' programme was launched in 2007, to provide safe drinking water and sanitation to people across Africa. Since launch, the programme has reached more than 10 million people in 21 countries.
• The Nolet Family and Diageo formed a new 50/50 company in 2008 to sell, market and distribute Ketel One vodka.
• In 2008, Diageo launched DRINKiQ, an online resource to arm consumers with the tools needed to make informed choices about drinking, including the decision not to drink.
• Diageo launches the Learning for Life skills programme in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2008. The programme now runs in more than 40 countries, and has reached more than 120,000 people.
• In 2011, Diageo became the first global company to own a majority stake in the fast growing Chinese White Spirits category through the acquisition of a controlling share of Shui Jing Fang.
• Diageo also acquired Mey Içki, the leading spirits company in Turkey in 2011.
• Diageo acquired Meta Abo Brewery in Ethiopia and Ypióca Cachaça in Brazil in 2012.
• In 2013, Diageo began its acquisition of United Spirits Limited in India.
• Diageo became the first alcohol beverage company to sign up to the UN Women's Empowerment Principles in 2013.
• Diageo gained full control of Don Julio tequila in 2015.
• Diageo was named as one of the top 25 most diverse and inclusive companies in the 2016 Thomson Reuters Diversity and Inclusion index.
• In 2017, Diageo acquired the fast growing tequila Casamigos.
• Diageo announced its investment to bring back two lost distilleries, Port Ellen and Brora in October 2017.
• Diageo celebrated training one million responsible drinking ambassadors in 2017 and launched its Drink Positive campaign aimed at promoting moderation and tackling misuse.