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Starbucks announces billions in losses but remains optimistic

Seattle, Washington - As the coronavirus outbreak rattled the global economy, Starbucks was forced to temporarily close many of its shops. However, the coffee giant has come off better than expected so far.

A tape surrounding chairs and tables at a Starbucks, emblematic for the "new normal" of the pandemic.
A tape surrounding chairs and tables at a Starbucks, emblematic for the "new normal" of the pandemic.  © Sebastian Kahnert/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

The world's largest coffeehouse chain reported Thursday that sales in the last quarter were down 51% compared to the previous year.  

Revenue of $6.2 billion was down 8% from the same period last yea, but it was still better than analysts had predicted. 

Starbucks said it lost about $1.2 billion in sales due to temporary shutdowns, restricted opening hours, and fewer customers coming in.

Global same-store sales fell 9% from the prior year, beating expectations of the 12% to 17% drop the company anticipated in July.

However, the coffee chain's CEO Kevin Johnson and other experts are optimistic that things will get better for Starbucks.

"Our strategies are working and I am optimistic that we will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as a stronger and more resilient company," Johnson said in an email.

The chain predicts that global sales will grow between 18% and 23% during the first quarter and 2021, and comparable sales in the US to increase between 17% and 22% in the same time period. 

Cover photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

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