Starbucks profit more than triples in Q1

by Eric Schroeder
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SEATTLE — Earnings at Starbucks Corp. rose sharply in the first quarter of fiscal 2010, driven by the company’s continuing focus on controlling operating costs. Net income in the quarter ended Dec. 27 was $241.5 million, equal to 32c per share on the common stock, up from $64.3 million, or 9c per share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter was $2,722.7 million, up 4% from $2,615.2 million during the same period a year ago. The company said its comparable store sales increased 4% driven by a 1% increase in traffic and a 4% increase in average ticket. Within the United States, sales at U.S. restaurants open at least 12 months rose 4% during the fiscal first quarter ended Dec 27. The gain compared with a decline of 10% in the first quarter of fiscal 2009 and marked the first time Starbucks posted a gain in U.S. same store sales since the fiscal fourth quarter ended September 2007.

“Continued innovation, the successful enhancement of the customer experience and a transformed, more-efficient cost structure have brought Starbucks to a significant milestone — a return to profitable growth,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “And while we are encouraged by our recent progress, we are aware of the profound economic uncertainty that exists in the world. We recognize that we must continue to improve, continue to innovate and continue to maintain our laser focus on serving customers and strengthening our connection to them. We also recognize that we must now apply the same rigor that enabled us to transform our U.S. business to our international operations in order to take full advantage of the significant growth opportunities in multiple channels that exist around the world.”

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