, China

Luckin Coffee now bigger than Starbucks in China

The scandal-tainted startup is staging a comeback.

Luckin Coffee, the Chinese challenger to Starbucks that nearly collapsed following an accounting fraud scandal, has now emerged as the largest coffee chain in the mainland.

The coffee chain posted revenues of US$379.3 million for the quarter to March 31 after opening 556 stores, up by 89.5% year on year.

It now has 6,580 stores in its network, larger than Starbucks’ 5,650-plus outlets, where 4,675 of them are self-operated and 1,905 are partnership stores.

Same-store sales in company-operated outlets grew 41.6%, significantly lower than the 94.5% of the comparable quarter last year. 

Luckin also reported a $2.5 million quarterly GAAP operating profit, far from the $54.6 million loss a year earlier. Non-GAAP operating income was at $14.5 million, compared with a $46.1 million loss.

Last month, the coffee chain said it emerged from US bankruptcy proceedings, two years after it almost collapsed after it was discovered that about US$337.31 million in 2019 sales was fabricated.

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