Diageo, the global drinks firm, said yesterday that it won’t “abandon” its operations in the UK and Western Europe, at a time when it is pouring more of its resources and strategic focus to fast-growing emerging markets. Speaking at the Institute of Directors conference, chief executive Paul Walsh said: “Our company will not abandon or ignore our business in the U.K. and Western Europe. These remain important markets.” However, Walsh said that it was “very easy to feel pretty bleak" about the economic outlook in the UK, with “projections suggesting it will stay that way for some time”.