Starbucks reported higher quarterly profit on Thursday, after customers in the United States, its top market, spent more than expected during the economically turbulent winter holiday season.

The world's largest coffee-shop operator, said profit rose 13 per cent in its fiscal first quarter, meeting analysts' estimates, as sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa declined for the second straight quarter.

Net income increased to $US432.2 million, or 57 cents a share, from $US382.1 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier, the Seattle-based company said today in a statement. Analysts estimated 57 cents, the average of 27 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief executive Howard Schultz is closing stores in Europe, mostly in the UK, as it attempts to turn around the business there. Last year, Starbucks revamped its lattes with more espresso and began running television ads in the UK to attract more customers there. Sales at stores open at least 13 months in Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell 1 per cent in the quarter.

Analysts estimated a decline of 0.3 per cent, the average of 24 projections from Consensus Metrix.

The shares fell 1 per cent to $54 in New York. Starbucks gained 17 per cent last year, compared with a 2.6 per cent drop for the Standard & Poor's 500 Restaurants Index.

Starbucks repeated its forecast for fiscal 2013 earnings, excluding some items, of as much as $2.15 a share. Analysts project $2.16.

Bloomberg, with Reuters