Starbucks sales recover faster than expected in US, China

Business

Customers walk past a sign that reads “We’re Open!” at a Starbucks Coffee store in south Seattle, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Starbucks saw faster-than-expected recovery in the U.S. and China in its fiscal fourth quarter, giving it confidence as it heads into the holiday season. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Starbucks saw faster-than-expected recovery in the U.S. and China in its fiscal fourth quarter, giving it confidence as it heads into the holiday season.

Global same-store sales fell 9% from the prior year, a better showing than the 12% to 17% drop Starbucks anticipated in July. U.S. same-store sales were down 9% in the July-September period, while China’s fell 3%. Starbucks has 20,000 stores in the U.S. and China, or 61% of its total.

Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson said shifts in service — like the introduction of curbside pickup to 800 U.S. stores and growth in delivery and mobile orders in China — kept customers coming despite the disruption in their routines.

“In the most dynamic of times, Starbucks is consistently executing,” Johnson said.

Starbucks said 98% of its company-owned stores are now open. Limited or full lobby seating is now available in 63% of U.S. stores and 90% of stores in China.

Revenue fell 8% from the prior year to $6.2 billion. That was ahead of the $6.1 billion Wall Street forecast, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

Starbucks reported earnings of 33 cents per share. Adjusted for non-recurring costs, Starbucks earned 51 cents per share, solidly beating analysts’ forecast of 31 cents.

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This version has been corrected to show that Starbucks’ adjusted earnings were 51 cents.

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