Starbucks-HOTC.jpg Starbucks
Starbucks achieved record revenues for the fourth quarter.

Starbucks finishes out year strong with Q4 same-store sales up 11% from pre-COVID levels

The company’s income growth was driven by resilient U.S. performance and offset by COVID-related challenges in international markets

Starbucks is finishing out the fiscal year strongly with U.S. same-store sales up 22% year-over-year and up 11% from pre-COVID levels for the fourth quarter, driven by an increase in transactions and average ticket, the company reported in an earnings release Thursday for the quarter ended Oct. 3, 2021.

The company’s strong performance was led by its U.S. division, as international same-store sales crept up 3% in comparison, partially offset by a decline in average ticket and a resurgence of COVID-19 in China. Starbucks also reported record revenues numbers up 31% to $8.1 billion, mainly driven by same-store sales growth impacted by recovery from the pandemic.   

The Seattle-based coffee chain is continuing its upward trajectory over the past two quarters: Following sales numbers that were negatively impacted by pandemic-related closures and service disruptions in 2020, U.S. sales had begun trending positively again by the time the second quarter rolled around.  Since then, Starbucks has been in a period of substantial growth as the company continues to transform its store portfolio to include more express, digital-first stores.

“Our strong finish to fiscal 2021, including record performance in the fourth quarter, demonstrates the resilience of Starbucks and reinforces the value of the bold strategic moves we have taken over the past two years,” CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

The financial results followed news earlier on Thursday that the Seattle-based coffee giant would be raising its hourly salaries for the third time in over a year: by summer 2022 average hourly pay will be $17 across the Starbucks portfolio, ahead of its previous goal of $15 per hour by 2023.

“We know that when we exceed the expectations of our people, they in turn exceed the expectations of our customers – which creates value for all of our stakeholders – our partners, our customers, our communities and our shareholders,” Johnson said in a statement.

Recently, Starbucks had been accused of union busting leading up to a groundbreaking union vote happening soon across Starbucks stores in Buffalo, N.Y. In a letter addressed earlier this month to employees, Starbucks directly asked workers to vote against unionizing in order to best enhance our partnership” through a direct relationship.

The company reported net income of $1.76 billion or $1.49 per share, up $392.6 million, or 33 cents per share, the same quarter a year earlier.

Contact Joanna at joanna.fantozzi@informa.com

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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