Starbucks 1st Quarter Net Increases 10 Percent

Holiday sales, consumer products drive revenue

Strong holiday sales in December helped drive a 10-percent increase in first-quarter profit for Starbucks Corp., the company said Thursday.

For the quarter ended on January 1st, net earnings totaled $382.1 million, or 50 cents per share, compared with $346.6 million, or 45 cents per share, in the same quarter the previous year.

Commodity pressures, primarily coffee, continued to negatively impact the chain, resulting in a $105 million hit to operating income in the first quarter, the company reported.

Revenue rose 16 percent to $3.4 billion on a global same-store sales increase of 9 percent, reflecting a 7-percent increase in traffic and a 2-percent increase in average check, the company said.

The Seattle-based company’s consumer products group booked a 72-percent increase in revenue during the quarter, fueled by the November 1st launch of Starbucks-branded K-Cup packs and the company’s decision last year to take packaged coffee distribution in house following a split from Kraft Foods.

“A very successful holiday season drove strong global same-store sales, which, combined with continued operational efficiencies, delivered record results despite continued commodity cost pressures,” Troy Alstead, Starbucks’ chief financial officer, said in a statement. “We are well positioned to continue to drive strong revenue and profit growth throughout this year, and in years to come.”

Starbucks’ first-quarter earnings also marked the first use of a new format that follows the company’s reorganized regional segments.