The retailer added 1,672 new cafes — an average 32 a week — in a year and strengthened its presence abroad, particularly in China.

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Your neighborhood Starbucks is a not-so-common outfit.


The specialty-coffee retailer Thursday said its average U.S. cafe rang up $1 million in sales during the 2005 fiscal year, $50,000 more per store than a year ago.


Starbucks last year opened new locations near a third of its existing cafes. Even then, same-store-sales — a key retail gauge for stores open at least a year — rose 8 percent.


“Starbucks is a true retail anomaly in that we create our own demand,” Chairman Howard Schultz said Thursday. “There are so many opportunities that await us.”


The company Thursday reported another hyper-caffeinated quarter and year, as it added 1,672 new cafes — an average 32 a week — and strengthened its presence abroad, particularly in China.


Starbucks reported a fourth-quarter profit of $123.7 million, or 16 cents a share — a 20.6 percent jump versus a year ago. Revenue rose 14.2 percent to $1.66 billion.


Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected earnings of 15 cents a share on $1.68 billion in revenue.


Starbucks had one less week in the quarter compared with a year ago.


Its stock rose 80 cents Thursday to close at $31.22.


The company said customers took to a number of offerings this year: its Green Tea Frappuccino and Tazo green-tea shaken beverages, introduced over the summer; and Herbie Hancock’s “Possibilities” CD, which debuted at No. 22 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.


Starbucks, meanwhile, turned its attention to China. With a long-term goal of 30,000 stores, half of them abroad, the company expects the traditionally tea-drinking nation to eventually become its largest market outside North America.


That said, Schultz still sees room for growth in the U.S. The retailer hasn’t tapped “even 50 percent” of its potential in North America, he said.


If Starbucks has a ubiquitous presence in downtown metropolitan areas, it plans to expand by opening more stores in rural and smaller metropolitan areas, in off-highway locations and at hospital and college campuses.


Starbucks closed the year with 10,000 stores and 100,000 employees, serving 35 million customers a week in 37 countries.


“We have consistently underestimated the size of markets, whether we’re talking about Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland or Chicago,” Schultz said. “We continued to find significant opportunities to continue to grow.”


For the full year, Starbucks reported a profit of $494.5 million, or 61 cents a share, on revenue of $6.4 billion. Its fiscal year ended Oct. 2.


Monica Soto Ouchi: 206-515-5632 or msoto@seattletimes.com