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Starbucks China gains

Starbucks is thriving in China as coffee becomes increasingly popular in the nation.

The US coffee giant plans to hasten its expansion with the 1000th store to open before the year ends.

The Seattle-based company says that by 2014, China will become its second largest market after the US.

Starbucks has seen its net revenues in China/Asia Pacific increase 29 per cent in the third quarter to June. It attributed the growth to incremental revenues from 523 net new store openings over the past 12 months and a nine per cent increase in comparable store sales.

“The very strong sales volumes prove that the coffee concept can succeed in traditional tea-drinking countries,” said RJ Hottovy, director of consumer equity research at Morningstar Inc.

While coffee is gaining ground in China, tea remains the top hot drink among Chinese. Euromonitor’s data revealed that coffee’s share of China’s hot drink market stood only one per cent in 2012, far less than tea’s market share of 54 per cent.

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