By Jonathan Davies

Drinks giant Diageo is being investigated by the US over accusations it has artificially boosted its sales figures.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has contacted Diageo, which owns Smirnoff and Guiness, over how it shipped drinks to distributors.

Diageo has been accused of sending more cases of alcohol to clients than ordered or needed, which allowed to to report higher sales.

In a statement, Diageo said: “Diageo has received an inquiry from the US Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its distribution in the United States. Diageo is working to respond fully to the SEC’s requests for information in this matter.”