Costco Profit Flat in 1Q

Issaquah, Wash. Costco Wholesale Corp. said Thursday fiscal first-quarter profit was nearly flat, as consumers pulled back on spending, except for necessities such as food, while the stronger dollar hurt international sales.

Profit for the three months ended Nov. 23 rose less than 1% to $262.5 million from $262 million a year earlier. Results include charges related to an accounting adjustment stemming from life-insurance contracts and the impairment of corporate investments.

Revenue rose 4% to $16.39 billion from $15.81 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 1%, including a 3% rise in the United States and a 7% decline internationally.

The company said international results, mainly in Canada, the United Kingdom and Korea, were hurt by the stronger dollar.

Customers pulled back on spending on all items outside of food, especially in the later part of the quarter, Costco said.

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