Starbucks says business 'steadily recovering' as stores reopen

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) said on Tuesday its business around the world was “steadily recovering” as most of its stores were now open due to the easing of coronavirus-led restrictions.

Shares of the Seattle-based coffee chain rose about 3% in extended trading after the company also reported a smaller-than-expected drop in its third-quarter comparable store sales as more people used its drive-thru and delivery options to buy coffee and food.

The Seattle-based company, like many restaurants and coffee chains, took a big hit from government-imposed restrictions to check the spread of the pandemic, prompting it to rely more on its delivery and drive-thru services to make up for lost business.

“We firmly believe that we are well positioned to regain the positive business momentum we had before the pandemic,” Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said.

Third-quarter comparable sales fell 40% globally and 41% in the Americas. Analysts had forecast a worldwide decline of 42.05% and a 42.82% drop for the Americas, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total net revenue slumped about 38% to $4.22 billion, but still beat the average analyst estimate of $4.07 billion.

Net loss attributable to the company was $678.4 million, or 58 cents per share, in the latest quarter, compared with a profit of $1.37 billion, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier.

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