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Starbucks Korea sees first-quarter earnings rise 78 per cent

Starbucks Korea on Thursday reported a 78 percent on-year jump in its first-quarter net profit, citing strong demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company’s net profit reached 33.6 billion won (US$29.7 million) in the January-March period, up 77.8 percent from a year earlier, according to quarterly earnings reports released by E-Mart Inc., South Korea’s biggest discount store chain operator.

E-Mart holds a 50 percent stake in Starbucks Korea.

Sales rose 15 percent on-year to 523 billion won, and its operating profit surged 73 percent to 45.4 billion won over the cited period.

An increase in mobile orders and drive-thru stores contributed to the sales hike, a company official said, adding that the quarterly earnings also increased due to a lower base effect last year.

South Korea has undergone multiple waves of the new coronavirus since the first local outbreak in Jan. 20, 2020. In the first quarter last year, large cafes were ordered to closed before 9 p.m.

As of the end of 2020, Starbucks Korea operated 1,536 outlets nationwide.

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