Drinks maker Diageo — which owns the Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka, and Guinness stout brands — reported a 1.8 percent increase in six-month sales, boosted by business in North America, which rose 4.6 percent.
Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, who took over from longstanding head Paul Walsh in July, told CNBC: "Western Europe is turning the corner. The emerging markets are all mixed-up."
Operating profit grew by 2.9 percent, helped by lower margins.
In its interim results, published Thursday, the company said that beer was the only category where sales fell, down 2.6 percent, after weakness in Nigeria and Ireland.