Drinks supplier Diageo GB has announced a net sales decline of 4% in the year to 31 July 2020.
Commenting on Diageo GB's full-year results, Dayalan Nayager, managing director for Great Britain, said: "In Great Britain (GB), net sales declined by 4%.
"Our solid first-half results were offset by the impact of on-trade closures from March, despite an increase in off-trade sales. The impact was further amplified by the cancellation of significant sporting and cultural events, such as the Guinness Six Nations rugby championship matches.
"Continued growth in rum and liqueurs was offset by declines in beer, scotch and vodka. In beer, Guinness was impacted by on-trade closures and we took the decision to support customers and maintain product quality through a keg return scheme in GB."
Innovation remained a key focus for the drinks giant, while e-commerce was upweighted as partnerships were strengthened on activities to drive consumer engagement and sales.
Gordon's launched a series of flavours including Sicilian Lemon, Mediterranean Orange and White Peach, while Smirnoff released a new range of Smirnoff Seltzers.
In March 2020, Diageo pledged £1m to support bartenders' wages and pledged more than 10 million bottles of hand sanitiser to support frontline health care workers across 20 countries. This was followed by nearly £30m with Diageo's "Raising the Bar" programme for the on-trade to provide practical help and support to bars as they prepared to open their doors to consumers after lockdown.