Starbucks, the global coffee giant, has reported a 39% rise in fourth quarter profits to $358.5m (£223.9m), but said that sales across Europe and the UK softened during the period.

International revenues rose by 6%, driven by strong gains in China, which offset some softness across the UK and Europe, where it said that consumers had been hit hardest by the economic problems.

Howard Schultz, chairman, president and ceo, said: “Fiscal 2011 was an extraordinary year in which Starbucks reported record earnings every quarter, and for the full year, and very strong comp store sales growth all around the world.

“Starbucks today is executing in all markets and across all channels, and we have never been better positioned to go hard and go fast after the tremendous opportunity that lies ahead in 2012 and beyond,”