Starbucks’ recovery, solid in China, still slow in the US

AP – Starbucks’ recovery slowed at the end of last year as United States (US) coronavirus cases mounted, but the coffee titan said it’s confident its US business will fully recover by March.

“I am optimistic, because this year holds tremendous promise for healing,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a conference call with analysts on Tuesday.

The Seattle-based company said its global sales at stores opened at least a year fell five per cent in the October-December period. That was an improvement from the prior quarter, but it was still a bigger decline than the four per cent drop Wall Street was expecting, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

Starbucks also fell short of revenue forecasts. The company reported sales of USD6.75 billion in its fiscal first quarter, below the USD6.9 billion than analysts forecast.

Not counting one-time items, Starbucks said it earned 61 cents per share in the October-December period. That was ahead of Wall Street’s forecast of 55 cents.

Shares in Starbucks Corp slipped about one per cent in after-hours trading.

Starbucks said its business in China, its second-largest market after the US, has largely recovered, with same-store sales up five per cent in the first quarter. Starbucks said it’s seeing fewer customers in China, but they’re spending more when they visit.

The Seattle-based company said its global sales at stores opened at least a year fell five per cent in the October-December period. PHOTO: AP