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Costco Q4 Profits Up 11%

10/06/2011 11:18:28 AM Eastern

Issaquah, Wash. - Costco overcame weak CE sales to post a
10.6 percent increase in net earnings, to $478 million, for its fiscal fourth
quarter, ended Aug. 28.

Net sales rose 17 percent to $27.6 billion during the
three-month period, while same-store sales in the U.S. increased 6 percent
excluding the positive impact of higher gasoline prices.

In contrast, Costco's CE business saw comps slip by the
mid-single digits during the quarter, CFO Richard Galanti said on an earnings
call.

Costco also reported a 15 percent increase in net September
sales, to $8.6 billion, and a 7 percent gain in U.S. same-store sales,
excluding gasoline. CE comps returned to positive territory last month, rising
by the mid-single digits on unit and dollar volume gains in TV.

Separately, the warehouse club announced a Nov. 1 increase
in annual membership fees of $5 for Goldstar and Business members, to $55, and
a $10 increase for Executive members, to $110. Costco also raised the 2 percent
cash-back rewards ceiling for Executive members from $500 to $750.

For the full fiscal year, net earnings rose 12.3 percent to
$1.5 billion, net sales increased 14 percent to $87 billion, and U.S.
same-store sales rose 5 percent excluding gasoline.

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