September 19, 2019 / 7:59 AM / a month ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Diageo keeps organic sales forecast, says not immune to trade policy changes

(Corrects metric in paragraph 7 to "organic operating profit growth" from "organic net sales growth" and related percentage figures)

Sept 19 (Reuters) - Spirits maker Diageo Plc said on Thursday it was "not immune" to changes in global trade policies, but based on the current environment expects to meet its full-year organic sales targets.

The Johnnie Walker whisky and Tanqueray gin maker said it continues to expect organic net sales growth to be towards the mid-point of a 4% to 6% range and organic operating profit to grow roughly one percentage point ahead of organic net sales.

The company also said it expects first-half organic operating profit growth to be in-line with or slightly behind organic net sales growth, due to stronger prior year comparables.

"We would not be immune from significant changes to global trade policy and continue to monitor this closely," Chief Executive Ivan Menezes said in a statement.

The forecast comes ahead of the drinks maker's annual general meeting today in London.

It also comes just weeks ahead of UK's departure from the European Union, which in the chance of a no-deal exit would bring trade tariffs and customs checks with the continent for the first time in decades.

London-based Diageo said the forecasts were consistent with its targets for the medium term or next three years, which calls for organic operating profit growth to be in the range of 5% to 7% and about 1 percentage point ahead of net sales.

Shares of the company were down 0.8% in early trading on Thursday. (Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and David Evans)

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