Starbucks profits climbs 19% in second quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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SEATTLE — Retail expansion, new products and continued growth in China helped drive a 19% increase in earnings at Starbucks Corp. in the second quarter. Net income in the quarter ended April 1 was $309.9 million, equal to 40c per share on the common stock, up from $261.6 million, or 34c per share, in the same period a year ago.

Sales for the quarter were $3,195.9 million, up 15% from $2,785.7 million during the previous year.

“Starbucks record Q2 performance demonstrates the strength of our business, the increasing power and global relevance of our brand and the success of our unique Blueprint for Profitable Growth business strategy,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “In Q2 we expanded our retail presence, recorded our seventh consecutive quarter of over 20% sales growth in China, introduced new products into multiple channels and more than offset high legacy commodity costs through increased efficiencies.”

Operating income in the Americas segment rose 10% to $463 million on a 10% increase in revenues to $2,374.7 million. Starbucks said the revenue gains reflected an 8% increase in comparable store sales, including a 7 percentage point gain in the number of transactions and a 1 percentage point increase in average ticket.

Net income at Starbucks in the six months ended April 1 totaled $691.9 million, or 90c per share, up 14% from $608.1 million, or 79c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales increased 16% to $6,631.8 million from $5,736.5 million.

Given the strong second quarter Starbucks has raised its expectations for the full year. Earnings per share are expected to be in a range of $1.81 to $1.84, up 19% to 21% from e.p.s. of $1.52 in fiscal 2011.

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