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Starbucks Americas region takes lead in 4Q sales growth

Starbucks Americas region takes lead in 4Q sales growth

Coffeehouse giant grows sales, traffic around the world

Starbucks Corp. recorded a strong fourth-quarter performance, with an 8-percent increase in global same-store sales, including 4-percent growth in traffic, the company said Thursday.

The Seattle-based chain’s results in the Americas region, including roughly 7,500 units in the U.S., mirrored global sales trends, with same-store sales also rising 8-percent on a 4-percent increase in traffic.

The Americas even ranked ahead of the China/Asia Pacific countries, typically Starbucks’ strongest-performing region. The China/Asia Pacific region grew same-store sales by 6 percent in the fourth quarter, entirely as a result of increases in traffic.That growth marked a slowing from the double-digit comparable sales increases seen in the China/Asia Pacific in the two preceding quarters earlier this year.

In the region that includes Europe, the Middle East and Africa, or EMEA, Starbucks’ same-store sales increased 5 percent, driven by a 3-percent increase in traffic.

For the full year, both global same-store sales and those in the Americas region rose 7 percent, including a 3-percent increase in traffic.

China/Asia Pacific ended the year with same-store sales rising 9 percent, including an 8-percent hike in traffic. In the EMEA, same-store sales climbed 4 percent, with 2 percent in traffic.

The coffeehouse chain opened 1,677 net new units during the year, ending with 23,043 locations in 68 countries.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and CEO, said the same-store sales increases demonstrate the strength and relevance of the Starbucks brand around the world.

“And our results underscores the success of the investments we continue to make in our people and business, in new beverage and food innovation and in groundbreaking technology innovation that is deepening our connection to customers everywhere,” he said in a statement.

Fourth-quarter consolidated net earnings attributable to Starbucks grew 11 percent, to $652.5 million, or 43 per share, rising from $587.9 million, or 39 per share, a year ago.

Consolidated net revenues were $4.9 billion for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 27, up 18 percent over the prior year, and boosted in part by the acquisition of Starbucks Japan, the company said.

For the year, net earnings were up 33 percent to $2.8 billion, or $1.82 per share, compared with $2.1 billion, or $1.35 per share.

Revenues increased 17 percent to $19.2 billion.

In fiscal 2016, Starbucks expects to open about 1,800 net new units, including 700 in the Americas region, about half of which will be licensed.

Another 900 are expected to open in China/Asia Pacific, two-thirds licensed, and 200 in EMEA, most of which will be licensed.

Same-store sales for fiscal 2016 are projected to be in mid-single digits, with revenues expected to increase 10 percent on a 52-week basis. Because 2016 includes an extra week, that will add another 2 percent to revenue projections for the year.

This month, Starbucks began its pilot of Green Apron Delivery in the Empire State Building in New York City, in which baristas deliver online orders from a dedicated website.

The coffeehouse chain has rolled out mobile order and payment to all U.S. company-operated stores, and began the rollout in about 150 locations in the U.K., as well as about 300 units in Toronto, Canada.

The chain is also partnering with Chase Commerce Solutions to roll out chip-enabled credit card payment terminals, which are expected to be available at company-operated stores across the U.S. by spring 2016.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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