Business, Finance & Economics

Starbucks’ fourth-quarter profit up 29 percent


Customers queue for coffee at Starbucks at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va., on Aug. 30, 2011.



Starbucks Corp.’s profits increased 29 percent in the three months leading up to Oct. 2, the company said today.

Sales beat analysts’ expectations in the quarter, rising 10 percent at US stores open at least 13 months and increasing 6 percent abroad, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Sales for the quarter reached a record $3 billion, the Financial Times reported.

The company said new coffee shops in China and the US offset weaker sales in Europe, the Financial Times reported.

According to the Financial Times:

Starbucks’ profits were boosted by the one-off effects of real estate transactions and the purchase of joint venture operations, but its results underlined its status as one of the consumer companies not suffering from the economic gloom afflicting so many Americans.

“What we’re offering at the premium level is really resonating well with customers, despite what’s still a tough environment,” Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead told Bloomberg Businessweek.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Like the rest of the industry, Starbucks has been battling rising coffee costs and a struggling economy, but it has shown more resilience than many of its competitors, as consumers remain loyal to the brand despite the regular, modest menu price increases.

Starbucks said it plans to open 800 new cafes worldwide in fiscal 2012, including 150 in China, Marketwatch reported. Currently, Starbucks runs 10,900 stores in the US and about 6,000 overseas, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The company said its growth strategy also includes reviving sales of its bagged coffee and tea in grocery stores and cracking the single-cup coffee market through sales of its Via instant coffee packets and its new K-Cup portion packs for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc.’s Keurig machine, Marketwatch reported.