Starbucks has revealed it has made its first quarterly loss as a public company. The US coffee giant revealed on Wednesday that charges related to its decision to close more than 650 cafés wiped out profits at the biggest US coffee shop chain. It said sales had risen by just 9% to $2.4bn (£1.2bn) in the third quarter and blowed slow US growth– which accounted for about 76 per cent of total sales. The growth failed to offset a $167.7m charge related to the group’s ongoing restructuring. It resulted is a net loss of $6.7m, or 1 cent a share, down from a net profit of $158.3m in the same period last year. The news of the sales decline came as it was reported the coffee house would trial free refills in the UK and that 1,000 extra support role jobs would have to go in a bid to streamline the company. Shares in Starbucks rose 5.7% in after-hours trading as investors focused on news that the company would close more stores in the US than it planned to open next year – a move that will help cut costs. Starbucks had been opening new stores at a rate of as many as three per day in the US last summer before consumer demand began to wane, a pace of growth that has proved difficult to manage. Earlier this month, it announced a plan to scale back the number of store openings and close 600 existing shops. Plus, on Tuesday, Starbucks announced that it would also close dozens of stores in Australia, where the group has failed to gain much traction since it launched there in 2000. Chief executive Howard Schultz said: “Customers remain loyal to Starbucks and its products. However, “they’re visiting less frequently.” Starbucks has launched a revamp of its stores and its first customer loyalty programme in an effort to reverse the decline in customer traffic.