THE costs associated with the closure of more than 20pc of its Irish stores contributed to pre-tax losses at the Irish arm of coffee giant Starbucks more than doubling last year.
In accounts filed with the Companies Office by Starbucks Coffee Company (Ireland) Ltd, the directors confirm that the number of Starbucks outlets fell from 23 to 18 last year, contributing to pre-tax losses increasing by 102pc from €1.62m in 2009 to €3.28m in the 12 months to the end of October 3 last year. The iconic coffee brand only established itself in Ireland in 2005.
The closure of the five stores also contributed to revenues last year declining by 10pc from €18.1m to €16.1m.
The stores closed by the US-owned company were all in Dublin: Ranelagh, Dalkey, Tallaght, Dundrum and Swords.
The Irish losses include royalties and licence-fee payments of €875,303 to its Seattle-based parent.
The directors said the company's underlying business performance last year was an improvement on 2009.
"In spite of continuing challenges in the wider economy, these accounts reflect a period in which management continued to make progress toward improving the overall health of the business by focusing on improving the customer experience, investing in its partners (employees), and driving efficiencies throughout the operating structure," the company said.
The first Starbucks store opened in Seattle in 1971 and the Starbucks Corporation was established in 1985.
Globally, the company has 16,858 stores employing 137,000 and last year had worldwide revenues totalling $10.7bn (€7.4bn).