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BJ's Wholesale Profit Climbs

Boston BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. on Wednesday said its fourth-quarter profit increased fourfold.

BJ's said that strong January sales, favorable profit margins and lower-than-expected expenses lifted its net income to $50.2 million in the three months ended Feb. 2. That is up from a profit of $11.9 million in the fourth quarter a year earlier.

Revenue rose 2% to $2.48 billion, from $2.43 billion in the previous year's fourth quarter.

BJ's said same-store sales rose 5.9% in February, with gasoline sales contributing to almost half that gain. The biggest sale gains were in upstate New York, with the smallest in New England.

BJ's February same-store sales gain of 5.9% follows an increase of 7.8% in January, 3% in December and 7.7% in November. BJ's said it expects same-store sales to increase 4% to 6% in this year's first quarter, excluding the impact from gasoline sales.

For all of 2007, BJ's posted a profit of $122.9 million, up from $72 million in 2006. Revenue rose 6% to $9.01 billion from $8.48 billion a year earlier.