Starbucks UK sales fall after 16 years of growth

Starbucks signage at Starbucks, Conduit Street, central London. Credit: Press Association Images/Nick Ansell

Sales in Starbucks' UK stores fell for the first time in 16 years last year at the same time as the company faced criticism over its tax status.

In the year to September 2013, the US coffee chain saw sales fall £399m from £413m the previous year.

Starbucks said the result was not because of weakness in the business but reflected the closure of unprofitable stores.

The chain faced controversy over its tax practices when it was revealed it had told tax authorities its British arm was a loss-making business while informing investors that the subsidiary was profitable.