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Starbucks quarterly sales disappoint, shares fall sharply

Sales of frappuccinos, lattes and cookies at Starbucks stores open at least 13 months missed analyst expectations, mainly due to weak demand in crisis-hit Europe.

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Customers queue for coffee at a Starbucks inside the Dulles International Airport complex on August 30, 2011 in Dulles, Virginia, near Washington, DC. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Shares in Starbucks fell sharply in extended trading today after the world’s largest coffee chain brewed up a disappointing second-quarter result.

Sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 7 percent around the world during the quarter, missing analyst expectations for 8.2 percent growth due to weak demand in crisis-hit Europe, Reuters reported.

Such sales fell 1 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to Bloomberg.

Sales rose 8 percent in the Americas and 18 percent in China and the Asia Pacific, the Seattle-based coffee maker said in a statement.

In China, where the country’s fast-growing middle class is quickly developing a taste for frappuccinos, lattes and Americanos, sales soared more than 20 percent for the seventh consecutive quarter.

Despite missing analyst sales forecasts, Starbucks chief executive and chairman Howard Schultz was upbeat about the future.

“I could not be more excited or more optimistic about the future of our company as we pursue disciplined, profitable growth all around the world," Schultz said.

Net profit rose 18 percent year-on-year to $309.9 million, or 40 cents a share, according to Bloomberg.

Total revenue jumped 15 percent to $3.2 billion.

In after-hours trading, Starbucks shares fell 4.3 percent to $58.04.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120426/starbucks-quarterly-sales-disappoint-shares-fall