Starbucks UK profit slumps 61% as Brexit blamed for sales slowdown

(c) Sky News 2017: <a href="">Starbucks UK profit slumps 61% as Brexit blamed for sales slowdown</a>

Starbucks (Hanover: SRB.HA - news) has blamed factors including Brexit and terrorism for dragging on sales as it reported a 61% fall in annual profits at its UK business.

Pre (Shanghai: 600048.SS - news) -tax profits fell to £13.4m for the year to 2 October last year compared with £34.2m the year before as turnover slipped by 6% to £380m.

Earnings were also squeezed by the impact of the sharp plunge in the pound after the Brexit vote as well as the cost of reorganising stores, plus investment in its product offering and an increase in pay to meet the National Living Wage.

The company said it had "experienced significant economic and geopolitical headwinds this year which affected sales".

These included "slowing economic growth, impact of Brexit and ongoing security concerns contributing to weakening consumer confidence".

"The general consumer environment was more cautious than the prior year, with footfall noticeably down across the store estate leading to lower sales," Starbucks said.

Martin Brok, president of Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa, said it was the third straight year of profit for the UK arm of the US-owned business.

He added: "Whilst there are undoubted challenges presented by a more cautious consumer environment, lower high street footfall, and adverse currency impacts, we are investing significantly to drive innovation in our food and coffee offering."

Sales at stores that had been open for a year - not including unprofitable outlets that have been closing - rose by 1%, compared with a 3.8% increase the year before.

Starbucks has nearly 900 stores in the UK.