Starbucks shoppers spending more

NEW YORK — Starbucks says its profit rose 34 percent in the quarter, as the coffee chain used its loyalty program to get customers to visit more often and spend more on revamped sandwiches and other food.

The Seattle-based company said global sales rose 7 percent at cafes open at least a year, including an 8 percent rise in both the U.S. and Asia. In the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where the company has struggled, the figure rose 2 percent.

The sales performance is somewhat of a standout in the restaurant industry. Chains including McDonald’s and Burger King have blamed the weak economy as they fight to drive up sales. But others are faring relatively better, with Chipotle reporting a 6.2 percent sales increase at stores open at least a year and Dunkin’ Donuts reporting a 4.2 percent increase for the latest quarter.

Starbucks Corp. has managed to keep growing through a mix of measures. It’s adding items such as Evolution juices, which can cost as much as $6 a bottle, and has rolled out new sandwiches and salads to get people to spend more when they stop in for a drink. Prices on several beverages were also increased over the summer.

Troy Alstead, Starbucks’ chief financial officer, said the increase in the average receipt for the quarter was mostly because of food. “As they’re adding those purchases, that’s giving us a lift,” he said.

Still, Alstead said only about a third of purchases overall include food. But he said the trends are improving, and should continue to do so as the company finishes the rollout of new La Boulange baked goods.

For the quarter, Starbucks said it earned $481.1 million, or 63 cents per share. Analysts expected 59 cents per share. A year ago, the company earned $359 million, or 46 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $3.8 billion, but was short of the $3.81 billion analysts expected, and its stock fell 2 percent to $79.20. Over the past year, the stock is up more than 73 percent.

Starbucks also said Wednesday that it expects revenue growth of “10 percent or greater” for 2014, which Alstead said represented “zero change” in the company’s expectations. In the previous quarter, Starbucks had specified a forecast of 10 percent to 13 percent growth.

The company also raised its dividend by 24 percent to 26 cents per share.

Starbucks has about 20,000 locations around the world, with about 12,000 of those in the U.S.

More in Herald Business Journal

Amazon lists 20 finalists for HQ2, and no, we aren’t on it

Los Angeles was the only West Coast city listed. They seem to like the nation’s capital.

Strange and wonderful creatures come through door of Bothell clinic

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

House passes bill aimed at lowering gender wage gap

The bill would hinder employers from retaliating against female workers who ask about others’ pay.

Planemaker joins forces with auto-industry supplier Adient

The new venture poses a threat to Zodiac Aerospace and Rockwell Collins

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Glitches slow Boeing, SpaceX plans for human spaceflight

Boeing has an issue with its abort system that may cause the spacecraft to “tumble.”

Most Read