SEATTLE — Improved U.S. holiday sales helped Starbucks Corp. achieve better-than-expected results in its fiscal first quarter.
After a disappointing holiday in 2017, Starbucks made some changes. This past year, holiday drinks went on sale earlier and the company removed some merchandise from the lobby to make a clearer path to gift cards.
It worked. Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Roz Brewer said U.S. gift card sales — which were down last year — jumped 12 per cent to $2.6 billion this year. U.S. store transactions were flat for the quarter, but customers spent more per visit.
Starbucks’ sales in locations open at least a year were up 4 per cent worldwide in the October-December period.
The Seattle-based company said Thursday it earned $760.6 million, or 61 cents per share, during the quarter. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs like restructuring expenses, were 75 cents per share. Analysts had forecast earnings of 65 cents per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.
The Seattle-based coffee chain posted revenue of $6.63 billion in the period, also topping Wall Street’s forecast of $6.49 billion.
Starbucks expects full-year earnings in the range of $2.68 to $2.73 per share.
Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press