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Costco Fis. Q4 Sales Increase 11%, Income Jumps

10/07/2004 09:01:00 AM Eastern

Issaquah, Wash. — Fiscal fourth-quarter sales at warehouse club Costco Wholesale jumped 11 percent, hitting $14.8 billion, up from $13.4 billion in the year-ago period. At the same time, comp-store sales for the three months, ended August 29, climbed 8 percent.

Net income in the fourth quarter soared 24 percent, rising to $296.8 million, compared with $239.4 million in the same period last year.

For the month of September, Costco enjoyed an 11 percent sales increase, moving up to $4.5 billion from $4.1 billion in the same month a year ago. Comp-store sales were up 8 percent in the five-week period.

Costco reported its net sales for the fourth quarter were affected by new reporting procedures which primarily impact the retailer’s vendor coupon and rebate programs, reducing net sales and merchandise costs by an equal amount. If new rules had been in effect for the comparable quarter in the previous fiscal year, the most recent three month sales increase would have been 12 percent and comps 9 percent. The changes do not affect net income.

For the 12 months, Costco sales climbed 13 percent, reaching $47.1 billion, up from $41.7 billion. Comp store sale rose 10 percent. If the new rules had been in place, 12-month sales would have jumped 14 percent and comps 11 percent.

Net income for the 12 months increased 22 percent, hitting $882.4 million, compared with a year-ago $721 million.

Reported net sales for September also were reduced by implementation of new reporting rules. Without these, sales would have been up 12 percent for the five weeks, and comps 9 percent.

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