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Gift card sales helped Starbucks comps grow 9%

starbucks holiday gift card

Starbucks continued its feverish sales climb during the quarter ended Dec. 27, posting a year-over-year same-store sales increase of 9 percent for U.S. restaurants.

About four points of the increase came from traffic gains, the company said.

The coffee giant also indicated that it wasn’t walloped like other U.S. chains with a large presence in China by the economic slowdown in the Asian mega-market. Comps for coffee shops there rose 5 percent, and all but a point of that rise came from traffic increases.

Globe-wide comps rose 8 percent.

Overall, revenues for the 13-week period grew 12 percent, to $5.4 billion. Operating income rose 16 percent, to $1.1 billion.

The business was helped domestically by a busy holiday period. About $1.9 billion was loaded onto Starbucks cards, which one of every six American adults received as a year-end gift.

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