Spirits giant Diageo has tempered its sales expectations for the current year as it faces a backdrop of global "uncertainty".

The Gordon's gin and Captain Morgan rum maker warned that full-year sales are expected to be on the lower end of forecasts as it was affected by volatility in global markets.

However, the London listed firm hailed a "good" half-year's trading performance as it said net sales increased by 4.2% to £7.2 million for the six months to December 31.

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It added that operating profit increased by 0.5% to £2.4 billion as organic growth was offset by unfavourable exchange rates.

Diageo said it made progress, but warned that the company "would not be immune from further policy changes" in an uncertain political environment.

In October, the US government introduced 25% tariffs on single malt whiskies but said this has not had a significant impact on its trading performance.

Diageo said it expects net sales growth for the full year to be towards the lower end of its forecast range, of between 4% and 6% growth.

In the UK, the company was strengthened by sales growth for Tanqueray, offsetting a slight decline in Gordon's sales.

Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, said: "Diageo has delivered another good, consistent set of results in the first half, with broad based organic net sales growth across regions and categories."

He added: "There is ongoing uncertainty in the global trade environment and we would not be immune from further policy changes."

PG Tips and Lyons group Unilever has launched a review of its global tea business as it revealed a slump in annual profits.

The consumer goods giant announced the strategic tea review as it reported a 33% drop in pre-tax profits to 8.3 billion euro (£7 billion) for 2019, having suffered a marked slowdown in its South Asian business and weaker trading in China.

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Unilever, which also owns Lipton ice tea brand, said it would be looking at its tea business across all worldwide regions.

The group - which is also behind well-known brands such as Magnum and Hellmans - posted a better-than-feared 1.5% rise in underlying sales over the fourth quarter.

It reiterated warnings that 2020 underlying sales will be in the lower half of its 3-5% targeted range and would be below 3% in the first half.

Alan Jope, chief executive of Unilever, pledged to ramp up turnaround efforts, including cost-saving plans and the global tea review.

He said: "We are now stepping up execution against our fundamental drivers of growth.

"These are to: increase penetration by improving brand awareness and availability; implement a more impactful innovation programme; improve our performance in faster growing channels; drive purpose into all our brands; and fuel growth through cost savings."

Mike Ashley's Frasers Group has said the Belgian tax authorities have dropped the largest part of their investigation against the company.

The Sports Direct parent business said the tax authorities are "satisfied with the explanation provided" by the retail firm over the first part of its tax dispute.

The company's full-year results announcement was held up last year after Belgian authorities sought 674 million euros (£571.8 million) in taxes.

Frasers said the first part of the tax authority's enquiry, worth 491 million euros (£416 million), has now been resolved.