UPDATE 1-Diageo shares drop after quarterly sales decline
* Q3 sales down 0.7 pct
* Emerging markets remain challenging
* Shares down 2.9 pct (Adds analyst, executive departure, shares)
LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Diageo, the world's largest spirits maker, reported slower quarterly trading on Thursday, hurt by tough comparisons in Britain and retailers reducing inventory in Southeast Asia.
The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer said net sales in the three months to March 31, the third quarter of its financial year, fell 0.7 percent, against some analysts' expectations for a sales increase.
Even after stripping out a specific hit from changes in timing of shipments in Latin America and the Caribbean, sales would have been well below expectations, RBC Capital Markets analyst James Edwardes Jones said.
"We believe consensus expectations of 1.5 percent (sales growth) for the full year look too optimistic," he added.
Diageo shares were down 2.9 percent at 1911 pence by 0837 GMT.
The quarterly report is the last of its kind for Diageo, which will conduct only half-year reporting from its next financial year. Continuación...