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    Starbucks Brews Up Record Results

    Global sales push the company's profits up 20 percent.

    SEATTLE -- Starbucks has posted solid first-quarter results, with net-income coming in above company projections.

    According to Nation's Restaurant News, the Seattle-base coffeehouse chain saw its net income increase to $261.6 million, or 34 cents per share, compared with $217.3 million, or 28 cents per share, for the same quarter a year ago. Earlier projections had pegged earnings between 32 cents and 33 cents per share.

    U.S. comparable store sales rose 7 percent in the first quarter, driven by a 6 percent increase in traffic and a 1 percent increase in average ticket, Starbucks reported in a release. Internationally, comparable store sales increased 4 percent, driven by an increase in traffic, it added.

    In a company statement, Chief Financial Officer Troy Alstead pointed to that continued customer growth in the United States and abroad for the company's better-than-expected results. "The underlying health of our business has never been better and our fiscal second quarter results continue to demonstrate this strength," he said. "Customer traffic grew in both our U.S. and international segments and we continue to see improved profitability throughout the retail store business as operational improvements combined with revenue growth drive strong sales leverage.

    "Our results for the quarter were even more significant when viewed in the context of the investments we made during the period and the charges related to Seattle’s Best Coffee store closures in Borders bookstores," added Alstead. "We remain well positioned to deliver on our previously communicated fiscal 2011 outlook of 15 percent to 20 percent EPS growth compared to last year's results despite dramatically higher commodity costs.

    In all, Starbucks total net revenues increased 10 percent to $2.8 billion.

    "Starbucks record fiscal second quarter results reflect solid performance and execution across all of our businesses," said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer said in a company statement. "Our sales, traffic and customer trends all point to the expanding power of the Starbucks business and brand. And our 40th anniversary celebration continues to resonate around the world, driving strong engagement among our partners and our customers. I saw this firsthand in China, where my visit this week confirmed how ideally-positioned Starbucks is to profitably grow its store presence across China in the years ahead."

     

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