31.03.04

31.3.2004: Meldung: Starbucks Coffee Comp.: Recognized as One of the Most Valued Global Brands

Starbucks Recognized as One of the Most Valued Global Brands
Tuesday March 30, 1:00 pm ET
Annual Shareholders Meeting Highlights Company"s Record Year of Revenues and Earnings while Continuing Dynamic Growth, Revolutionary Innovation and Social Responsibility

SEATTLE--March 30, 2004-- Starbucks Corporation (Nasdaq:SBUX - News) holds its 12th Annual Meeting of Shareholders today at Seattle"s new Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Approximately 3,200 shareholders will hear business updates from Starbucks executives including: Howard Schultz, chairman and chief global strategist; Orin Smith, president and chief executive officer; and Jim Donald, president, North America.

"From the beginning, Starbucks has built a company that balances profitability with a social conscience," said Schultz. "Starbucks business practices are even more relevant today as consumers take a cultural audit of the goods and services they use. Starbucks is known not only for serving the highest quality coffee, but for enriching the daily lives of its people, customers, and coffee farmers. This is the key to Starbucks ongoing success and we are pleased to report our positive results to shareholders and partners (employees)."

Commitment to Shareholders

Fiscal year 2003 reflected the strongest financial performance in the Company"s history, including: $4.1 billion in total net revenues, a 24 percent year-over-year growth; $268 million in net earnings, a 26 percent year-over-year growth; and 8 percent comparable store sales growth, which represents the 12th consecutive year of 5 percent or greater comparable store sales growth.

"The power of our brand is more evident now than ever," said Smith. "We were recently named among the 10 most impactful global brands by Brandchannel, and for the third consecutive year, we are listed among the 100 most valuable global brands by BusinessWeek magazine."

This past year Starbucks was recognized by Fortune Magazine as No. eight on its list of "America"s Most Admired Companies" and No. 34 in its ranking of "100 Best Companies to Work For." Starbucks was once again listed among Business Ethics Magazine"s "100 Best Corporate Citizens."

For fiscal year 2004, Starbucks has reiterated its targets of opening approximately 1,300 new stores on a global basis; increasing total revenues by approximately 25 percent; achieving comparable store sales growth in the range of 3-7 percent, with monthly anomalies for the remainder of the year; and achieving earnings per share of $0.86-$0.87, which includes an approximate $0.02 per share benefit from a 53rd week in the Company"s fourth quarter of this fiscal year.

Commitment to Innovation

"Starbucks continues to refine the Starbucks Experience," stated Schultz. "From the introduction of the Starbucks Card Duetto(TM) Visa, to on-demand brewing for the office and a focus on fresh store designs and new drive-thru concepts, we continue to innovate in all areas of our business."

Additionally, the Company has introduced T-Mobile HotSpot service in more than 2,700 U.S. stores; enhanced the variety and quality of food offerings through expansion of its lunch program now in more than 1,000 stores; and developed new and seasonal beverages, such as Malt Frappuccino® blended coffee and Iced Shaken Refreshments.

Two weeks ago, Starbucks launched a revolutionary in-store CD burning service at its Hear Music Coffeehouse. Later this spring, the Hear Music CD burning service, powered by HP, will be offered in approximately 10 Starbucks stores in Seattle, making it easier for customers to discover, acquire and enjoy music.

To further validate the Company"s commitment and connection to music, artist Emmylou Harris will make a surprise appearance at the shareholder"s meeting.

"This is a natural extension for Starbucks because of its ongoing commitment to music and innovation," Harris said. "By offering digital music, Starbucks and Hear Music are creating a solution for artists and the industry -- it provides exposure to new and emerging artists while allowing both to be compensated for their talents and services."

Harris has been heard on several Hear Music CDs, and her new Artist"s Choice(TM) CD is also being announced today. Artist"s Choice(TM) is the continuing compilation series that presents listeners with the favorite songs of some of today"s most influential artists. Harris joins an acclaimed roster of Artist"s Choice(TM) contributors: Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Sheryl Crow and upcoming series participants Willie Nelson and Sarah McLachlan.

Commitment to Coffee Farmers

Additionally, Dub Hay, senior vice president, Coffee, will update the Company"s progressive program geared toward ensuring fair and sustainable prices for coffee farmers, which in turn will help guarantee a steady supply of high-quality coffee to meet Starbucks ever-growing demand.

Many of the world"s 25 million coffee farmers are in crisis as low quality coffee has flooded the market in recent years. Starbucks is introducing Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices, or CAFE Practices. This program further refines the Company"s global coffee buying guidelines meant to help ensure the future supply of high quality coffee and to promote equitable relationships with farmers, their communities, and the environment where coffee is grown. CAFE Practices is an evolution of the Company"s Preferred Supplier pilot program that began in 2001.

"Over the past two years, more than 160 coffee suppliers applied for our pilot program," Hay said. "We expect that CAFE Practices will eventually reach thousands of farmers and suppliers, and that a majority of our coffee will be purchased through them."

CAFE Practices is being implemented around the world with the help of independent, non-governmental organizations that will verify the accuracy of applications. In addition, independent auditors will spot-check participants for compliance with the guidelines.

Further, the Company expects to help coffee farmers improve their crops and attract the same premium prices already paid by Starbucks. In January, Starbucks opened Starbucks Farmer Support Center in Costa Rica to provide agricultural support and training to coffee farmers, while stressing the importance of producing high quality coffee in a sustainable manner.

"Starbucks buys only about two percent of the world"s coffee beans, but as an industry leader and specialty coffee retailer with thousands of locations worldwide, we have an opportunity to lead change," Hay said. "We are very excited about the positive impact Starbucks can have on coffee farmers, their communities and the environment."

Recognition

Starbucks will recognize Arlen "Arnie" Prentice, one of the Company"s initial investors and an original Board member, who will retire today. "Arnie believed in our vision in the earliest days, when everyone thought that trying to make a business out of selling coffee was farfetched," Schultz said. "With his support, help and advice, Starbucks proved them wrong."

About Starbucks

Starbucks Corporation is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 7,500 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. The Company is committed to offering the highest quality coffee and the Starbucks Experience while conducting its business in ways that produce social, environmental and economic benefits for communities in which it does business. In addition to its retail operations, the Company produces and sells bottled Frappuccino® coffee drinks, Starbucks DoubleShot(TM) coffee drink, and a line of superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships. The Company"s brand portfolio provides a wide variety of consumer products. Tazo Tea"s line of innovative premium teas and Hear Music"s exceptional compact discs enhance the Starbucks Experience through best-of-class products. The Seattle"s Best Coffee® and Torrefazione Italia® Coffee brands enable Starbucks to appeal to a broader consumer base by offering an alternative variety of coffee flavor profiles.

Contact:

Starbucks Coffee Company
Lara Wyss, 206-318-4620
lwyss@starbucks.com
or
Starbucks Coffee Company
Audrey Lincoff, 206-318-5013
alincoff@starbucks.com
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