Starbucks raises forecast on strong sales; opening 1,300 stores in 2013

Seattle -- Starbucks Coffee Co. reported a higher-than expected net income of $359 million for its fourth quarter, compared with $358.5 million in the year-ago period. The company also raised its earnings estimate for the next fiscal year.

Revenue rose 11% in the fourth quarter, to $3.36 billion. Same-store sales rose 6%, fueled by higher customer traffic.

“Our Q4 and overall 2012 fiscal year performance demonstrates the strength of our business and brand,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and CEO, Starbucks. “The resiliency and relevance of our U.S. retail business, acceleration of the Channel Development business and expansion in Asia all contributed significantly to our strong results.”

The company said it was accelerating its store growth target for fiscal 2013 through the opening of approximately 1,300 net new stores globally, representing 22% growth over fiscal 2012. In the China/Asia Pacific region, it is adding approximately 600 net new stores, with licensed stores comprising approximately half of the new additions. Of the approximately 600 stores, slightly more than half will be in China.

Starbucks is maintaining its growth target of approximately 600 net new stores in the Americas, with the majority of those in the U.S. Of the approximately 600 stores, approximately half of the additions will be licensed stores.

For the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, net revenue at Starbucks grew 14%, to $13.3 billion. Earnings grew 10%.