Diageo’s pre-tax profits before exceptionals will fall from £1.3bn to £1.26bn-£1.27bn, when the wine and spirits company unveils its interims on Thursday, reports The Business. The newspaper says higher pension costs of £50m, adverse currency movements and a £40m charge for the reorganising of the Irish business will have had an impact on profits. Core premium spirits brands will have driven underlying profits. Investors will be hoping for a signal that the company will quicken the pace of share buybacks. Financial Mail on Sunday says profits are expected to be up slightly at £1.3bn. The Independent on Sunday says sales are likely to be down, but only because of Burger King’s sell-off at the end of 2002. The Business 15/02/04 page 23 The Independent on Sunday (Business) 15/02/04 page 4 (The week ahead) Financial Mail on Sunday 15/02/04 page 12 (The Week Ahead)