Starbucks same-restaurant sales beat on U.S., China growth; shares rise

Starbucks same-restaurant sales beat on U.S., China growth; shares rise
FILE PHOTO: A Starbucks sign is show on one of the companies stores in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 19,2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo   -  Copyright  MIKE BLAKE(Reuters)
By Reuters

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp <SBUX.O> third-quarter sales at established stores surpassed estimates, getting a jolt from its two biggest markets, the United States and China, and sending its shares up nearly 6% after the bell on Thursday.

The world’s largest coffee chain has been trying to make its menu more appealing by adding new beverages such as the Dragon drink and Cocoa Cloud Macchiato, while also expanding the delivery side of its business with new partnerships.

The plans are paying off as same-store sales rose 7% in the Americas and 5% in China and the Asia-Pacific region. Analysts were expecting growth of 4.43% and 3.45%, respectively, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

“Our two targeted long-term growth markets, the U.S. and China, performed extremely well … as a result of our focus on enhancing the customer experience, driving new beverage innovation and accelerating the expansion of our digital customer relationships,” Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in statement.

Sales at restaurants open for at least 13 months rose 6% in the third quarter ended June 30. Analysts had forecast same-store sales growth of 4.04%.

Net earnings attributable to the company rose to $1.37 billion (£1.1 billion), or $1.12 per share, from $852.5 million, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total net revenue rose 8.1% to $6.82 billion, surpassing the average estimate of $6.68 billion.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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