Simple Answer: China. More complicated answer, Asia Pacific. Tonight on Fast Money as we explore ways for investors to find revenue growth at a time when there is a concern about global growth, I offer up Starbucks (SBUX, quote), and my rationale is China is a more exciting China linkage play than other well known China driven stories like YUM and even Apple.
Here are the numbers:
By 2015, SBUX plans to have 1,500 stores in China, according to the company. 750 will be opened this year, thus effectively doubling their presence. The first Starbucks store located in Mainland China opened in Beijing in January of 1999. So they are moving into high gear. Asia Pacific sales, of which China sales dominate, is the second largest market for the company but still only 7% of overall revenues.
Coffee is just starting to move into fashion in China. Currently, coffee (vs. tea) sales are growing 10%/yr in China much higher than global average of 3%. Coffee is <1% of the hot beverage market vs tea being over 50% in China.·
SBUX global revs are growing about 10%/yr, with the Americas region about 9%. China growth has been closer to 25% in last few years. China also happens to be one of the more profitable places the company does business. China stores offer 63% ROI vs 20-25% in EMEA.
In short, the growth has only begun for the company who better understands cultural differences and needs from country to country than most multinationals. Starbucks will succeed in China in part due to this approach. Meanwhile despite all the doom and gloom on China from the media, ask US multinationals like Starbuck where they will be piping hot, and they continue to say China.