LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company, reported a 1.7 percent increase in half-year sales on Thursday, as growth was curbed by foreign exchange rates and issues including a later Chinese New Year and a ban on selling alcohol near Indian highways.
Diageo said operating profit rose 6.1 percent to 2.2 billion pounds ($3.14 billion) on net sales up 1.7 percent at 6.5 billion pounds.
Earnings per share before items were 67.8 pence.
The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka had previously warned that sales and profit growth for the current financial year would be driven by the second half, which will end in June.
$1 = 0.7006 pounds Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Jason Neely