Starbucks has said it expects revenues in fiscal 2006 to leap by 20% as it continues its expansion worldwide.

The US group said it plans to open 1,800 stores worldwide next year following a year of rising sales and earnings. For the year to 3 October, the company saw net earnings leap 27% to US$494m on the back of a 23% increase in net revenues to US$6.4bn.

"Starbucks record results in fiscal 2005 reflect the exciting momentum that we continue to see throughout our business, and demonstrate the underlying power of the Starbucks brand," said Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz.

"We are particularly encouraged by the early success and the continuously expanding development potential of our international business." Some 500 of the stores set to be opened will be outside the US, the company said.

Fourth-quarter net earnings leapt 21% on the back of a 23% increase in net revenue to US$1.7bn.