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Cobra Coffee sees mixed results for its UK Starbucks franchise

Cobra Coffee, which operates 66 licensed Starbucks stores in the UK, saw sales rise by more than a third last year, but pre-tax profits fell amid a challenging economic environment

A Cobra Coffee Starbucks outlet in Bradley Stoke, South Gloucestershire, UK | Photo credit: Cobra Coffee


Cobra Coffee, one of Starbucks’ UK franchise partners, has reported mixed full-year results, with pre-tax profits falling despite strong sales growth.  

Reporting on the 12-months ended 31 January 2023, Hampshire-based Cobra Coffee said sales increased 38% to £28.8m ($36.5m) but pre-tax profit fell 68% to £492,837 ($624,000). 

The franchisee, which operates 66 Starbucks stores across the UK, said it has a ‘solid balance sheet and significant cash balances’ which will enable it to manage ‘business risks successfully, despite the current uncertain economic outlook’. 

Founded in 2013, Cobra Coffee became part of the Southern Co-op group in November 2018, which added three Starbucks stores to its existing 16 licensed outlets.  

The franchisee has ambitious plans for growth over the next three years across the south and southwest of the UK. 

In March 2023, Seattle-based Starbucks said it would invest £30m ($36m) over the following 12 months to open 100 new UK stores with a focus on convenience formats. The coffee chain currently operates 1,150 UK outlets, of which approximately 75% are licensed. 

Starbucks’ largest UK franchisee, 23.5 Degrees, also reported steady revenue growth for 2022 and announced a goal of reaching 300 Starbucks stores by 2027

Southampton-based 23.5 Degrees, which currently operates 99 Starbucks stores across the country, achieved 12% year-on-year sales growth to reach £75m ($92m) during the 12-months ended 31 August 2022. 

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