January 24, 2013 / 9:25 PM / in 5 years

Starbucks profit rises on strength in U.S

(Reuters) - Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) reported higher quarterly profit on Thursday, after customers in the United States, its top market, spent more than expected during the winter holiday season, when consumers worried about the budget standoff in Washington.

The world’s biggest coffee chain reported net earnings of $432.2 million, or 57 cents per share, for the fiscal first quarter that ended December 30, matching the average analyst estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. That was up from $382.1 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.

Overall revenue jumped almost 11 percent to $3.80 billion during the quarter, which is Starbucks’ biggest for sales.

Global sales at stores open at least 13 months were up 6 percent - topping the 5.5 percent rise analysts polled by Consensus Metrix had expected. Those sales were helped by a 4 percent increase in traffic and a 2 percent increase in average spending per visit.

    Same-store sales rose 7 percent in the U.S.-dominated Americas region, topping analysts’ estimate of 5.9 percent. Starbucks’ Americas business contributed 75 percent of total revenue for the fiscal year that ended September 30.

    Starbucks shares dipped 3 cents to $54.51 in after-hours trading.

    Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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