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Starbucks Sees 'Runway for Growth' in China

Coffee retail giant Starbucks appears to be out of its three-year slump and focus more heavily on its global expansion in the near future, particularly in China, CEO Howard Schultz told CNBC Thursday.

Starbucks
Starbucks

The company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of $217.3 million, or 28 cents a share, late Wednesday, up from $25 million, or 3 cents a share, from a year ago. The stock

soared Thursday after Starbucks also raised its outlook for the rest of 2010.

The key growth driver was U.S. same-store sales, which jumped 7 percent in the latest period. The growth was helped by the first increase in store traffic in 13 quarters. Schultz said the turnaround speaks to the “resiliency of the brand.”

Schultz said there was a “big runway for growth” outside North America and that the company’s primary focus was on Asia, namely China. Schultz has made several recent trips to the country to try to understand “a complicated market.”

India and Vietnam are also areas of interest to Starbucks.

According to Starbuck's Web site, the company operates more than 16,000 locations in more than 50 countries.

The company has also made a “significant investment” in digital and social media such as Facebook and Twitter as Schultz said the similar demographics make them a perfect combination.