Loyalty program helps lift Starbucks

NEW YORK — Starbucks Inc. says its profit rose 34 percent in the quarter, as the coffee chain used its loyalty program to get customers to visit more often and spend more on food.

The Seattle-based company said global sales rose 7 percent at cafes open at least a year, including an 8 percent rise in both the United States and Asia.

The sales performance is somewhat of a standout in the restaurant industry, though rival Dunkin’ Donuts did report a 4.2 percent sales increase for the latest quarter.


Troy Alstead, Starbucks’ chief financial officer, said the increase in the average receipt for the quarter was mostly because of food. ‘‘As they’re adding those purchases, that’s giving us a lift,’’ he said.

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Still, Alstead said only about a third of purchases overall include food. But he said the trends are improving, and should continue to do so as the company finishes the rollout of new La Boulange baked goods.

The company has also been benefiting from lower costs for coffee beans.

Starbucks said it earned $481.1 million, or 63 cents per share. Analysts expected 59 cents per share. A year ago, the company earned $359 million, or 46 cents per share. Revenue rose to $3.8 billion.

Associated Press