Starbucks cafe sales heat up slightly in latest quarter

Friday 25 April 2014 13.08
Starbucks has locked in coffee prices for the rest of this fiscal year
Starbucks has locked in coffee prices for the rest of this fiscal year

Starbucks last night said quarterly sales at established stores in its US-dominated Americas region accelerated slightly as it attracted more customers, who spent more during each visit.
              
The results from the world's biggest coffee chain came after McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts and other US restaurant operators said recent severe winter storms chilled results.
              
Starbucks executives said the inclement weather also hit its business, but did not quantify the impact.
             
Global sales at Starbucks cafes open at least 13 months were up 6% for the second quarter, compared to analysts' average estimates of a 5.4% gain.

That figure included a 6% increase for the Americas region that contributes the majority of Starbucks' revenue. Analysts also expected a 5.4% rise from the Americas.
              
Starbucks' Americas region sales were up 5% in the first quarter.
              
Net earnings rose 9.4% to $427m, or 56 cents a share, for the fiscal second quarter ended March 30, in line with analysts' average estimates.
              
Starbucks raised its fiscal 2014 earnings per share forecast to a range of $2.62 to $2.68, up from a range of $2.59 to $2.67 previously, after first-quarter results beat internal expectations.
              
Looking ahead, the company said it would roll out new Fizzio carbonated drinks this summer in the US Sun Belt, as well as in Singapore, Korea and several cities of China. 

Oprah Chai, Starbucks' spiced tea partnership with media mogul Oprah Winfrey, goes on sale in the US and Canada next week.
              
The chain also is beginning a programme to add evening food and beverages, such as beer and wine, in more than 1,000 cafes in the coming years.
              
While Starbucks grapples with higher dairy costs, it has locked in coffee prices for the rest of this fiscal year. Its coffee contracts will insulate the company from the recent spike in arabica coffee prices due to worries that the drought in Brazil, the top arabica grower, will crimp supplies.
              
Starbucks already has 40% of its coffee for fiscal 2015 under contract, its chief operating officer Troy Alstead told Reuters.