SEATTLE-Starbucks Corp. opened a record 2,199 stores around the globe in the last fiscal year, and could ultimately be a 40,000-store chain worldwide, half of those outside the United States, executives said at its fourth quarter conference call.

Already at 12,000 stores in 37 countries (3,400 outside the United States), the company plans to open 2,400 more units in fiscal 2007, including debuts in Brazil and Egypt.

“We continue to see tremendous opportunity in store openings both in the U.S., and in International markets,” said Jim Donald, president and chief executive officer. The company opened 30% more stores in 2006 than in 2005, exceeding its original plan of opening 1,800 locations by nearly 400 units.

The company will open its first store in Sao Paolo later this month, and its first unit in Cairo by the end of the calendar year, said Howard Schultz, chairman.

“The Starbucks brand continues to attract more and more interest from communities around the world, which is a reflection of the power of the brand and its relevancy to so many different cultures,” Schultz said. “With more than 3,600 locations today, we have a tremendous runway for growth in international markets in the years ahead.”

Drive-through locations are being expanded outside the United States. Currently, the company has 100 drive-throughs in Canada, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico, Jordan, Australia and Indonesia.

For the fourth quarter, Starbucks reported revenues of $2.0 billion, up 21% from the previous year. Earnings were $117 million, compared to $124 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. Comp-store sales rose 5%. For the full fiscal year, the company had revenues of $7.8 billion, an increase of 22% over fiscal 2005. Earnings were $564 million, compared to $494 million for the previous year. Comp-store sales rose 7%.

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