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Report: Starbucks may reconsider U.K. tax payments

BY Staff Writer

New York — Starbucks Coffee Co. is considering changes to its tax practices in the U.K. in the wake of criticism from lawmakers, tax campaigners and the media, according to Reuters.

A Reuters examination of Starbucks accounts that was made public in October showed that the chain had reported 13 years of losses at its U.K. unit, even as it told investors the operation was profitable and among the best performing of its overseas markets, the report said.

The chain’s U.K. unit paid no corporation tax in the last three years for which figures are available and has only paid 8.6 million pounds income tax since 1998, despite racking up 3 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) of sales, Reuters said.

Starbucks has maintained that it had always complied with British tax laws. But a spokeswoman added in an emailed statement that the public mood had caused the company to reconsider its tax arrangements, which include intercompany royalty and interest payments that reduce the U.K. unit’s taxable profit, according to Reuters.

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Ulta Beauty Q3 net income up 42.5%; to open 125 stores in 2013

BY Marianne Wilson

Bolingbrook, Ill. — Ulta Beauty reported a double-digit gain in third-quarter sales and net income. The company said it is planning to open approximately 125 stores in 2013.

For the quarter ended Oct. 27, net income rose 42.5% to $38.2 million. Net sales rose 22.4% to $505.6 million, from $413.1 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales were up 8.4%.

During the quarter, Ulta opened 49 stores, for a total of 537 stores.

In 2013, the chain expects to exceed its long-term plans 15% to 20% in annual store growth, adding approximately 125 stores, representing 22% square footage growth, the company stated.

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Perfect storm dents Party City’s performance

BY CSA STAFF

The modest sales decline Party City reported for the five week period ended November wasn’t all that bad considering the unfavorable circumstances the company faced.

Sales declined 1.4% to $358 million and same store sale declined 0.6% at permanent stores and 11.9% at temporary locations, the company said.

Heading into the five week period that included Halloween, Party City knew comparisons to the prior year would be challenging because Halloween fell on a Wednesday, the worst possible day for parties and entertaining. Then, to make matters worse, Hurricane Sandy hit the heavily populated markets in the northeast and made Halloween celebrations the furthest thing from people’s minds

Without the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the company estimated its sales would have been $5 million higher than the prior year instead of $5 million lower. The picture looked much better in Canada where e–commerce sales and Party City store sales increased by 5.8% and 5.4%, respectively, as there was no meaningful impact from Hurricane Sandy.

Party City operated 594 stores in the U.S. and Canada, 421 temporary stores and 13 smaller outlet stores during the five week period.

 

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