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Costco ends year on an upbeat note

BY Marianne Wilson

Costco Wholesale Club reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for its fourth quarter.

Net sales for the 17-week fourth quarter ended Sept. 3 rose 15.8% to $41.36 billion from $35.73 billion in year-ago period, which had 16 weeks. Total same-store sales rose 6.1%, with a 6.5% increase in the U.S. and a 4.9% increase in Canada. International same-store sales rose 5.6%

E-commerce sales in the quarter were up 21%. Membership fees rose 13% to $943 million.

Costco's net income for the quarter was $919 million, or $2.08 per diluted share, compared to $779 million, or $1.77 per diluted share, last year.

Net sales for the 53-week fiscal year rose 8.7% to $126.17 billion. Net income was $2.68 billion, or $6.08 per diluted share, compared to $2.35 billion, or $5.33 per diluted share, last year.

Costco ended its fiscal year with 741 warehouses in operation, including 514 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 97 in Canada, 37 in Mexico, 28 in the United Kingdom, 26 in Japan, 13 in Korea, 13 in Taiwan, nine in Australia, two in Spain, one in France and one in Iceland. The company also operates e-commerce websites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan.

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