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As of 11:57 23 Jan 2019
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66,308.90 million
As of 12:03 23 Jan 2019

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Spirits giant Diageo sells 19 brands for $550m

Spirits glass
Science Photo Library

Spirits giant Diageo has sold 19 brands to US company Sazerac in a deal worth $550m (£427m).

Among the brands included in the sale are Seagram's VO, Seagram's 83, Seagram's Five Star, Parrot Bay, Romana Sambuca, Popov, Yukon Jack, Black Haus, Grind, Piehole, Booth's and John Begg.

Diageo says the net proceeds of £340m, after tax and transaction costs, will be returned to shareholders through a share buyback programme.

"The disposal of these brands enables us to have even greater focus on the faster growing premium and above brands in the US spirits portfolio," said Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes.

Diageo sees hit from currency moves

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Diageo, the maker of Guiness and Smirnoff vodka, says that currency market volatility is hurting sales and profits.

It expects sales to be reduced by £175m this year and operating profits to fall by £45m.

However, the company says the year has started well.

Good morning!

Welcome to Business Live and a veritable avalanche of company results.

In the UK, Sky will reveal its financials this morning while later on, its would-be acquirer, US cable giant Comcast, will announce its second quarter results.

Drinks giant Diageo, oil specialist Shell and miner Anglo American will also provide updates.

Over in the US, watch out for Amazon, Intel, Starbucks and McDonald's when they announce their results later.

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk