Scottish independence: Diageo says 'yes' vote would make 'no difference'

Whisky Diageo is investing £1bn in Scotch whisky production over the next five years.

The boss of drinks giant Diageo has said Scottish independence would make "no difference" to any decision on investing in the country.

Paul Walsh, the company's chief executive, said such a move would only be made for economic reasons.

Diageo is investing £1bn in Scotch whisky production over the next five years.

The Scottish government is planning to hold a referendum on independence in autumn 2014.

Diageo, which is behind one of the world's biggest selling blended Scotch whiskies, Johnnie Walker, also makes a number of malt Scotch whisky brands.

Mr Walsh's comments came as Diageo announced a 13% rise in full-year profit, which he said had been helped by increasing business in areas like Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Net profit for the year ending 30 June 30 stood at £1.94bn, up from £1.9bn a year earlier.

When asked on Radio Four's Today programme whether Scottish independence, if it happened, would make a difference to the company's investment decisions, Mr Walsh responded: "No difference at all."

He said: "Scotch has been around for hundreds of years, it has seen all kinds of political changes. We'll weather anything.

"Our decision to invest is based on the economics that we think the category will continue to enjoy.

"We have a very good relationship with Holyrood and with Westminster. I don't think that debate is one we wish to get into."

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