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Costco’s Dec. Sales Up 5%

Issaquah, Wash. — Lower gas prices took a toll on Costco’s December results, although CE helped fuel the warehouse club’s comps.

Net sales rose 5 percent last month to $12.1 billion and U.S. comps increased 8 percent excluding the negative impact of gas price declines.

The company cited CE as a key December driver of its hardlines business, which posted mid-single-digit comp gains.

In a research note, Janney Capital Markets retail analyst David Strasser said CE’s resurgence at Costco “continues to come from strength in the high-end TV cycle,” as well as from Apple products, which were re-introduced last summer following a conspicuous, multi-year absence.