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Diageo's Finance Director For Latin America Named Latin Trade CFO Of The Year

MIAMI, Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ignacio Corral, Finance Director for Latin America of Diageo, the world's largest distiller, received the Latin Trade's CFO of the Year Award (Multinational) in Miami.

Corral was instrumental in the company's substantial 2012 revenue increase, and his work is a good example of excellent financial results that stem from a sound plan and an organized but flexible execution method that benefited from regional growth.

Diageo focused its efforts on the sale of premium brands to increase gross and operating margins which were correctly geared to profit from economic expansion in Latin America.

Diageo posted a 19 percent revenue growth in the region, which almost doubled, followed by Africa (with 11 percent) and Asia (with 8 percent). This performance increases the probability of the company reaching its target of doubling its sales volumes in the region in four years.

This year Diageo made important investments in its Latin America operation. The most important move was the acquisition in May of the alcoholic beverages division of Ypioca, the largest cachaca premium producer in Brazil and also, second in value in the category. The finance area was crucially involved in this process.

Diageo, under the regional leadership of Corral, also maintained a disciplined but flexible financial execution system in place. Once goals are set by corporate management, each country manager receives very specific targets to be achieved, along with a set of broadly-defined guidelines to reach them. In this way managers have enough leeway to achieve their goals.

The return of Diageo's stock serves as a good example for the effectiveness of these strategies. It reached a hefty 36% YoY as of November 2012.

Diageo produces Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Windsor, Buchanan's and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One, among other brands.

Corral, 42, was appointed as Finance Director for Latin America in January. He previously served as Finance Director Iberia, Corporate Finance Director at the company's headquarters in London, and Finance Director in Mexico. He has been with Diageo since 1996.

Ignacio Corral received the award at the LT CFO Forum in Miami.  The award has been given to professionals such as the CFOs of Petrobras and Copersucar in Brazil and America Movil and Grupo Mexico in Mexico.

LT CFO Forum are private events that offer CFOs, finance directors, treasurers and controllers from various industries in Latin America the opportunity to participate in high-level peer group discussions and interact in a private setting.  The events equip CFOs with expert insight that helps them prepare for challenges across domestic and international borders.

Since 2005 LT CFO Events foster a greater level of discussion and interaction between senior executives focusing on the trends, challenges and solutions through regional events in Miami and local chapters in key markets in Latin America.

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