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Beans make big bucks

According to the International Coffee Organisation, in June, world coffee exports totalled 7.66 million bags, a fall from 9.19 million bags in June 2004. But exports in the year to June 2005 amounted to 90.24 million bags, up 2.46 per cent, of which 60.61 million bags were Arabica and 29.63 million bags Robusta. Global production was even higher, at 112.031 million bags (www.ico.org). The greater part was grown in Puerto Rico, Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, and India, though coffee is grown in more than 70 countries; however, Brazil and Colombia grow 40 per cent of the world's beans.

At the end of July there were 9,836 Starbucks stores worldwide, 5,797 of which were directly operated by the company (the rest being licensed). Net revenues posted showed US$495 million (pound;275 million) for the four-week period ended July 31, 2005, an increase of 21 per cent from consolidated net revenues of US$410 million for the same four-week period in fiscal 2004. Year on year, sales at comparable stores increased 7 per cent for the four weeks ended July 31, 2005, compared to the same four-week period in fiscal 2004.

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