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Starbucks profit up 20%


Seattle -- Starbucks on Wednesday reported that its second-quarter profit rose 20% as more customers visited its stores, and it raised its earnings forecast for the year.

The company said it earned $261.6 million for the quarter ended April 3, up from $217.3 million a year earlier. Revenue rose nearly 10% to $2.79 billion.

CEO Howard Schultz said on a conference call with investors Wednesday that the results are especially gratifying, given the "formidable economic and operating headwinds that continue to confront global businesses."

Starbucks said the underlying health of its business has never been better, and strong sales, customer traffic and satisfaction trends during the period led it to raise its full-year forecast.

Starbucks said commodity cost increases are bigger than previously anticipated and will cut its earnings for the year by 22 cents, rather than the 20 cents per share it estimated in January. Starbucks is one of many food and beverage companies coping with higher costs for fuel, dairy, coffee and other goods.

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