Retail in Asia

In Sectors

Starbucks still hot on China despite muted sales

Tepid growth in Asia might have taken some steam out of Starbucks Corp’s latest quarterly sales, but both the company and analysts remain upbeat about the coffee chain’s prospects in China.

Starbucks has been investing heavily in the world’s most populous country despite signs of cooling economic growth, and chief executive Howard Schultz said on Thursday that business in the country had never been stronger.

Starbucks, whose shares were down 0.6 percent at midday on Friday, reported a 5 percent rise in comparable sales in the Asia-Pacific region in its first quarter ended December 27. Analysts had expected a rise of 6.1 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix. Starbucks does not break out China sales.