Starbucks profit meets estimates on sales increase

, Bloomberg

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Starbucks Corp., the world's largest coffee-shop operator, said profit rose 13 percent in its fiscal first quarter, meeting analysts' estimates, as sales increased in the Americas and fell in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Net income increased to $432.2 million, or 57 cents a share, from $382.1 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier, the Seattle-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts estimated 57 cents, the average of 27 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief executive officer Howard Schultz has attempted to boost sales in the U.S. by expanding beyond coffee with the company's own juice, baked goods and tea. Schultz is also closing stores in Europe, mostly in the U.K., as he attempts to turn around the business there. Sales at stores open at least 13 months in the Americas rose 7 percent in the quarter, while dropping 1 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Analysts estimated an increase of 5.9 percent and a decline of 0.3 percent, respectively, according to the average of 24 projections from Consensus Metrix.

While Starbucks quarterly revenue was the highest ever for the company, the consumer environment in the U.S. and Europe is still shaky, chief financial officer Troy Alstead said in an interview.

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