Diageo Hellas on Thursday reported a 35 percent drop in sales volume and a 38 percent drop in net sales in its half-year report for the second half of 2010. It attributed the drop in sales to economic conditions, including lower disposable income due to the economic downturn and an 87 percent increase in excise duties.

In an announcement, the company said that the negative price/mix was a result of the higher margin on trade declining at a faster rate than the off trade and prices of some brands being reduced to maintain affordability.

As part of a large scotch market, Johnnie Walker was significantly impacted as was Dimple, which declined sharply, as deluxe scotch was impacted more severely. With its strong brand equity, Haig proved more robust and the brand gained share although volume again declined.

Outside of the scotch category, net sales of all other spirits declined. Marketing spending was maintained as a percentage of net sales and therefore reduced by 38%.

The same announcement said that economic weakness in a number of markets affected overall performance in Europe, with notable sales declines in Greece, Iberia and to some extent Ireland but good performance in Germany, Russia and Eastern Europe.