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Starbucks Corporation to Open its First High Street Stores in Scandinavia (SBUX)

Washington-based largest coffeehouse company in the world, Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) announced today that it is expanding its business into Scandinavia by opening its first high street stores in Norway and Sweden by 2013 through a strategic partnership with Umoe Restaurant Group AS, a leading chain restaurant company in Norway.

Umoe is already an established company in Norway with over 220 restaurants and cafes. Its popular brands are scattered across Scandinavia. It has over 5000 employees in total and its main business revolves around the food and drinks concepts for shopping centers and airports.

As SBUX is known for the concept of neighborhood gathering place, it will open its stores first in city-centers of Norway and Sweden and then add more stores in airport and railway locations.

President of Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa, Michelle Gass quoted that the company is increasing its presence in Scandinavia as part of its growth strategy. It believes that Umoe Res Group is a strong partner with renowned brands and significant local expertise to start its business with. He highlighted that the company is fully committed to its partner and in providing exceptional customer service.

Since European market has become extremely challenging, Starbucks has been struggling lately to boost its sales and earnings. It had even made plans to close down few of its unprofitable locations across Europe in last quarter. CEO Howard Schultz introduced new drink recipes and more TV advertisements in order to increase its demand in this challenging business environment.

Starbucks has evolved drastically since its inception in 1971. As on July 1, 2012, it had over 17,650 stores across 60 countries worldwide. Its brand portfolio includes Starbucks Coffee, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Tazo Tea, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Torrefazione Italia Coffee.

Apart from the consumer products including coffee & tea, it sells a wide range of premium coffees and teas, smoothies, flavored ice creams, baked pastries, simple breakfast meals and merchandise such as brewing equipment, mugs and accessories, music, books and gifts.

As per its latest released quarterly results for the period ended July 1 2012, SBUX’s net revenues were $3303.6 million with operating income of $491.6 million and net income of $333.1 million. Total Assets were $8308.9 million including $2497.6 as cash and its equivalents. Total liabilities were $2920.9 million, among which 69% were current.

At the last check, SBUX shares were trading 0.02% higher at $50.11. The stock has gained around 27.56% year to date.

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