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(New York) Starbucks reported better-than-expected results for the first three months of the year, supported by new store openings and improved margins, according to a statement on Tuesday.

The Seattle chain achieved $8.72 billion in revenue in the second quarter of its staggered fiscal year (closed in early October), up 14% year-on-year.

Wall Street reacted coldly to the higher-than-expected numbers, and in post-close electronic trading, the stock was down more than 4% around 5:30 p.m. EST.

The growth rate posted over these three months is significantly higher than that of previous quarters. This is the result of an increase in footfall, but also of price increases and branch openings.

The average bill amount rose 5% year-on-year, and Starbucks opened 464 net cafes during the period.

Notably, sales grew in China (3% like-for-like), the group’s second largest market, after six consecutive quarters of contraction, marking a “faster-than-expected rebound”, according to Chief Executive Officer Laxman Narasimhan. , who spoke during the conference call to present the results.

For him, it is a “turning point” in this market, which has seen the opening of 153 branches, net.

The past quarter has seen the transition between iconic boss Howard Schultz and Laxman Narasimhan, now in charge.

Before retiring, Howard Schultz launched the Reinvention strategic plan in September, which aims to accelerate the company’s growth and improve its profitability.

In the second quarter of its staggered fiscal year, Starbucks saw its operating margin increase from 12% to 15% compared to the same period last year, thanks in part to price increases and productivity gains.

The Reinvention plan provides, among other things, for installing new equipment in cafes to shorten the preparation time for hot and cold drinks, as well as pastries and sandwiches.

Net income was $908 million, 35% higher than the second quarter of 2022. On a per share basis and excluding exceptional items, the market benchmark, it was 74 cents, better than the 65 expected by analysts.

Laxman Narasimhan confirmed Starbucks’ full-year guidance, including expected revenue growth of 10-12%.