Starbucks reports increased sales for first quarter

Starbucks Corp. reported financial gains for its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 27, 2009, and updated full year targets. The Seattle-based company’s first quarter sales rose to $2.7 billion, a 4 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Starbucks said comparable store sales increased 4 percent driven by 1 percent increase in traffic and a 4 percent increase in the average ticket.
 
“Continued innovation, the successful enhancement of the customer experience and a transformed, more-efficient cost structure have brought Starbucks to a significant milestone — a return to profitable growth,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “And while we are encouraged by our recent progress, we are aware of the profound economic uncertainty that exists in the world. We recognize we must continue to improve, continue to innovate and continue to maintain our laser focus on serving customers and strengthening our connection to them. We also recognize that we must now apply the same rigor that enabled us to transform our U.S. business to our international operations in order to take full advantage of the significant growth opportunities in multiple channels that exist around the world.”
 
“Solid comparable store sales growth, combined with our continuing focus on controlling operating costs, drove significant operating margin improvement in both our U.S. and international business segments,” said Troy Alstead, executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a statement. “Looking ahead, the financial disciplines we sharpened last year and the encouraging first quarter trends position us to grow revenues, operating margin and earnings despite a still very challenging global consumer environment. As a result, we are increasing our non-GAAP EPS [generally accepted accounting principals earnings per share] outlook for fiscal year 2010 to a range of $1.05 to $1.08.”
 
The company is now targeting mid-single digit revenue growth, driven by modestly positive comparable store sales growth, a 53rd fiscal week, and approximately 300 planned new stores. Starbucks continues to target approximately 100 net new stores in the United States and both the U.S. and international new additions are expected to be primarily licensed stores.

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