Diageo pushes release of full-year earnings report due to COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: A bartender takes a bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky at Barmaglot bar in Almaty, Kazakhstan June 22, 2017. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

(Reuters) - Diageo Plc DGE.L, the world's largest spirits maker, said on Monday it would delay the publishing of its full-year report for fiscal 2020 by five days to give its auditors more time to prepare and review statements during the coronavirus pandemic.

“(The delay) will allow Diageo and its auditors, PwC, sufficient time to complete the process of preparing and reviewing the results, given the practical challenges of remote working,” the maker of Tanqueray gin and Johnnie Walker whisky said in a statement.

British regulators have given publicly traded companies an additional two months to prepare their financial statements, making the deadline six months from their financial year-end.

Diageo will now publish its preliminary results for the year ended June 30 on Aug. 4, instead of July 30, and will also delay the release of its annual regulatory filing by two days.

In April, the company abandoned its annual forecast for sales and profit growth, and suspended its 4.5 billion pound ($5.6 billion) share buyback programme in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips