Starbucks Korea profit on the rise


    Starbucks Korea has reported a 28-per-cent year-on-year jump in its operating profit in the first half of the year amid rising appetite for premium coffee, discount store chain E-Mart said Tuesday.

    From January to June, the US coffee giant posted an operating profit of 74.7 billion won (US$61 million) in Korea, up from 58.3 billion won in the year-ago period, according to E-Mart’s first-half earnings results.

    E-Mart, the country’s biggest discount store chain operated by Shinsegae Group, holds a 50-per-cent stake in Starbucks Korea, with the other 50 per cent controlled by Starbucks US.

    South Korea is one of the fastest-growing premium coffee markets, and Starbucks expects further growth in this country. Sales also jumped 25 per cent to 887.7 billion won in the first half from 709 billion won a year earlier, the data showed. Net earnings were not available.

    Starbucks, which entered Korea in 1999, currently operates 1308 stores, including 50 upscale Starbucks Reserve outlets, in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.