nsucurrent.com May 20, 2018

Starbucks to sell Tazo tea brand to Unilever for $384 million

04 November 2017, 12:28 | Ruby West

Starbucks posts disappointing sales figure, will sell Tazo

Apple chief executive Tim Cook visits an Apple store in Glasgow

In announcing the Tazo deal, however, the retailer said it will continue to invest in the growth and development of the Teavana brand in Starbucks stores and in other channels. In the past year, Tazo had sales of $112.5 million. It was sold mostly at supermarkets, bib-box, and convenience stores, its product lines include packaged teas, K-Cup pods, and ready-to-drink bottles.

This acquisition is the latest in a series of deals by Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch consumer giant, to add smaller, healthier brands to expand its portfolio in a fast-growing specialty tea segment.

Starbucks paid $8.1 million for Tazo in 1999, five years after it was founded.

"With its strong appeal to millennials, Tazo is a flawless strategic fit for our USA portfolio that includes exciting new brands such as Seventh Generation, Dollar Shave Club and Sir Kensington's", said Kees Kruythoff, president, Unilever North America. But the coffee chain also reported disappointing fourth-quarter sales growth at stores around the world, and its shares fell more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.

On the company's quarterly call, Starbucks said it would launch a co-branded Chase Visa credit card this winter. The company attributed the performance in part to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

The coffee chain also said Thursday that fourth-quarter sales rose 2 percent at its established locations worldwide. Overall, the company reported net income of $788.5 million, or 54 cents per share, in the three months ending October 1. The company said US same-store sales would have risen 3% in the quarter if not for closures and lost business related to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. US same-store sales grew 2%.

Starbucks had net sales for the quarter of $5.7 billion, flat with the same quarter the year prior.

Net income for the quarter reached $788.5 million equal to 54 cents per share, in comparison to $801 million equal to 54 cents per share for the same period one year ago.

Excluding some items, profit came in at 55 cents a share, which was in line with analysts' forecast.

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