Strong fourth-quarter drives Starbucks full-year profit

by Eric Schroeder
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SEATTLE — Record fourth-quarter revenues contributed to an 11% gain in full-year earnings at Starbucks Corp. Net income in the year ended Sept. 30 was $1,383.8 million, equal to $1.79 per share on the common stock, up from $1,245.7 million, or $1.62 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Net revenues for the full year also climbed to a record high, rising 14% to $13,299.5 million from $11,700.4 million.

The full-year results received a boost from a strong fourth quarter in which net sales increased 11% to $3,364.2 million and sales rose to $359 million from $358.5 million.

“Our Q4 and overall 2012 fiscal year performance demonstrates the strength of our business and brand,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee Co. “The resiliency and relevance of our U.S. retail business, acceleration of the Channel Development business and expansion in Asia all contributed significantly to our strong results.“

Starbucks has taken a number of steps in recent months to grow the business. In October, Starbucks and its joint venture partner in India, Tata Global Beverages Ltd., opened the first three Starbucks stores in India. Earlier, in August, Starbucks unveiled plans to open a high-tech juicer that will significantly expand the production and distribution capacity of Evolution Fresh juices.

Starbucks said it expects 10% to 13% revenue growth in fiscal 2013, driven by mid-single-digit comparable store sales growth, approximately 1,300 net new store opening, and continued growth in the Channel Development business. The company’s earnings per share is expected to fall in a range of $2.06 to $2.15, representing growth in the range of 15% to 20%.

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