US coffee distributor and coffe-shop operator Starbucks reported a 40% rise in fiscal Q1 earnings, given a shot in the arm by the sale of some of its investment in Starbucks Coffee Japan.

Profits in the quarter under review, which ended 30 December, reached US$68.4m (2000: US$49m).

The results incorporated a one-off gain of US$13.4m from the sale of part of its stake in Starbucks Coffee Japan, its Japanese retail arm. Without this gain, profits were in line with analysts’ forecast.

Revenue in the first quarter reached US$805m, a 21% rise over US$667m a year ago. Same-store sales, a key indicator of business performance, increased 2% over the same period last year.

Starbucks reiterated its earnings target at 54-55 cents for fiscal 2002. Revenue is forecast to grow 20%, while same-store sales are expected to see growth in the low single digits.

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