Created on 17 December 1997 through the merger of Grand Metropolitan and Guinness, Diageo has become a global company, with its products being sold in 180 countries.
Over the past two decades, Diageo’s share price has risen by 340%, market capital has grown 440% and earnings per share (pre-exceptional items) are 220% higher.
The milestone anniversary was celebrated around the world by the company’s 30,400 employees, including a time capsule ceremony at Cardhu distillery in Scotland, the home of Johnnie Walker, to employees in Lagos, Nigeria; and Sydney, Australia; toasting the occasion with a dram of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
To mark the celebrations in London, Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes, along with the company’s Scotch whisky blenders and members of the senior leadership team, opened the market at the London Stock Exchange.
Menezes said: “I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the past 20 years, which is testament to the commitment of our talented employees past and present."
He added: “Diageo is a young company created from the incredible entrepreneurial legacy of John Walker, Pierre Smirnoff, Charles Tanqueray, Arthur Guinness and many more, and this spirit continues today.
“Our brands are part of celebrations globally every day, as we mark this milestone, it is not only the growth of our brands and business that I will be toasting, but the way we do business.
“We have made great strides in diversity and inclusion, minimising our environmental impact, our contribution to the communities where we operate and in our aim to reduce the harmful use of alcohol around the world.”