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News Briefs for June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013

•With its flagship Licor 43 on the rise globally, Diego Zamora Group has bolstered its leadership team with the appointment of Thomas Clamens as managing director, international. Clamens previously managed William Grant & Sons’ Latin America unit, and spent almost a decade with Maxxium in Latin America, Asia and Europe. He will be based at Diageo Zamora’s headquarters in Cartagena, Spain. Diego Zamora says Licor 43 is fast approaching the 1-million-case threshold with strong growth in markets including Germany, the U.S., Mexico and Australia. The company’s portfolio also includes Villa Massa Limoncello and a wine division.

Darden Restaurants Inc. is planning to markedly expand its higher-end Specialty Restaurant Group concepts while trimming back growth of its more established brands, including Olive Garden and Red Lobster. The Orlando, Florida-based Darden said on Friday that it plans to ramp up expansion of Specialty Restaurant brands Season 52, Yard House, Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s, while opening fewer LongHorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden and Red Lobster outlets in its current fiscal year than it did in its recently ended fiscal year, which concluded on May 26. For that year, Darden reported a profit of $411.9 million, down 13% from the year-earlier period, even as its revenue grew by nearly 7% to $8.55 billion. The company attributed its profit drop to costs and purchase accounting adjustments associated with its August 2012 acquisition of Yard House.

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