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The April launch of the Starbucks Card Rewards in Ireland [File Photo] Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Star coffee chain struggles to bring in the bucks

Starbucks has closed five stores in Ireland and doubled its pre-tax losses. However the directors say the business is healthy overall.

PRE-TAX losses at the Starbucks coffee chain’s operation in Ireland more than doubled in 2010.

Five Irish outlets – all in Dublin suburbs – closed last year, contributing to losses of €3.28 million, reports the Irish Independent. Revenues also declined by 10 per cent.

However its directors say that the Irish operation performed better business-wise overall last year than in 2009, with progress made towards improving the “overall health” of the business. The Irish Times reports that while staff numbers fell from 280 to 234, the majority of employees from the closed stores were redeployed. Starbucks also introduced a health insurance plan for staff.

In the UK Starbucks made losses of £34 million in 2010, but this was an improvement of 2009′s losses of £52 million, according to the Independent. In April the restaurant chain overtook Burger King to become the third largest in the US after it increased sales by 8.7 per cent to $9.07 billion. McDonald’s and Subway were in first and second place respectively.

Meanwhile Starbucks has announced that it’s to enter the Norwegian market next year, with an outlet at Oslo airport.

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