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A man wearing a mask walks in front of a shuttered Starbucks as the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak continues in the Manhattan borough of New York, on April 27, 2020.

LUCAS JACKSON/Reuters

Starbucks Corp. said on Tuesday it expects comparable sales in China to decline between 25 per cent and 35 per cent in the current third quarter, hurt by the novel coronavirus pandemic that has forced it to close stores and limit operations.

The company’s shares fell about 2 per cent in extended trading.

Restaurant chains across North America have felt the impact of lockdowns spurred by the new coronavirus.

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In China, Starbucks’ biggest growth market, stores were closed for most of the second quarter while restaurants in the United States moved to a pick-up and delivery-only model in March to stop people from gathering.

Starbucks said it expects sales in China to recover with comparable store sales roughly flat at the end of the fiscal year. The company sees fourth-quarter comparable sales falling up to 10 per cent.

The company did not forecast sales for its U.S. business, citing the onset of the coronavirus late in the quarter, but said it expects the financial impact to be significantly greater in the third quarter and to extend to the fourth quarter.

The Seattle-based coffee chain reported a 10-per-cent fall in global comparable store sales for the second quarter ended March 29. Analysts had forecast a 9.71-per-cent decline, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 32 US cents a share, in line with Wall Street expectations.

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