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Costco Sales Rise 12%, Comps Up 9%

12/19/2005 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Net sales at Costco Wholesale jumped 12 percent in the wholesale club's fiscal first quarter, rising to $12.7 billion from a year-ago $11.3 billion, while comparable warehouse sales for the period rose 9 percent.

Net income for the first quarter, ended Nov. 20, increased 12 percent to $215.8 million, compared with $193.2 million in the same three months in 2004. Operating income climbed to $325.5 million for the period, up from a year-on-year $300.6 million.

This year's fiscal first-quarter results included a pretax charge of about $7.6 million related to damage from hurricane Wilma in Florida. Last year's comparative results included a pretax charge of about $6.4 million related to damage from four Florida hurricanes.

Revenue from club membership fees in the first quarter hit $262.6 million, up from $238.1 million in the same period the prior year.

Costco currently operates 471 warehouses, including 346 in the United States and Puerto Rico. The retailer plans to open an additional 18 to 20 new warehouses, including the relocation of two to three units to larger and better-located facilities, prior to the end of its current fiscal year on Sept. 3, 2006.

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