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Diageo CEO confirms targets despite 'rocky' world, says Americans now 'drinking better'

Diageo is confident of achieving its targets for the year despite a "rocky" world, the CEO of the alcoholic drinks giant told CNBC on Thursday.

The company reported a 28 percent rise in operating profit for the first half of its fiscal year on Thursday morning and a hike in its dividend.

The maker of Johnnie Walker whiskey and Smirnoff vodka said operating profit hit £2.06 billion ($2.6 billion) in the six months ended 31 December 2016. Diageo also saw volumes grow 2 percent on an organic basis from the same period last year, with organic sales in its biggest market of North America up 3 percent.

Diageo also raised its interim dividend to 23.7 pence per share, a hike of 5 percent.

"Even though the world is rocky, Diageo can perform in a sustainable way going forward," Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo, told CNBC on Thursday.

The Diageo boss said that the North American market is "attractive" for the company with Americans "drinking better", and he is confident that the company can deliver "sustained mid-single-digit growth."

"Clearly the current conditions in the U.S. point to more confidence from a consumer standpoint and I would expect that to underpin our performance and that is what is factored into our guidance for the company in the medium term," Menezes said.

Diageo said the weakening of the pound is estimated to favorably impact net sales for its fiscal year by approximately £1.4 billion and operating profit by approximately £460 million. The spirits maker reiterated its medium-term guidance of mid-single digit top line growth and 100 basis points of organic operating margin improvement in the three years ending 30 June 2019.