Starbucks UK has reported a worsening in operating margin for the 12 months to 2 October 2011, as it started to exit unprofitable sites and reported a slight rise in full-year turnover. The company saw turnover rise to £397.7m against £396.3m the year before, with pre-tax losses narrowing to £32.8m from £34.2m in the previous 12 months. This included royalties and licence fees of £25.7m. Operating margin widened from minus 6.5% to minus 7.2%. The group, which us led by Kris Engskov, Starbucks’ UK managing director, said that its latest accounts reflected a period in which “comparable (like-for-like store sales) continued to grow across the year as customers responded to a number of innovations, new products and continuing investment in store refurbishments across the estate”. The company said that its number of drive-through stores also increased to eight during the year and the success of this new format had encouraged “further growth in this area”. At the end of the year, 607 Starbucks stores were in operation in the UK, a net increase of six. At the period end, 128 licensed stores were in operations, an increase of 26 since the start of the period. Starbucks said the number of sites had remained broadly similar as it exited unprofitable sites. It added: “These closures added costs to the business but were necessary for its long-term health.” The group is to trim its central London estate after placing a 16-strong package of sites on the market earlier this year. It appointed CBRE to sell the leasehold sites, which include sites in Wigmore Street, Villiers Street, Baker Street and two units on the King’s Road. Prices for the sites range from £32,500 to £206,000 for one of the King’s Road sites. The package does not include the three Starbucks in Oxford Street, which were placed on the market separately at the start of the year. There are currently c260 Starbucks branches in London and the group announced it was to invest £8m on refurbishing 70 of its stores in the capital by this summer, before looking at upgrading a further 50 sites outside the capital.