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Costco Q2 Profits Up 13%

Issaquah, Wash. – Costco said its fiscal second-quarter earnings
rose 13.2 percent to $394 million for the three months, ended Feb. 12.

 Net sales, excluding
membership fees, increased 10 percent to $22.5 billion, and U.S. comps
excluding gasoline rose 7 percent during the quarter.

In a conference call, chief financial officer Richard Galanti
attributed the gains to increased traffic and larger purchases, and said
average selling prices are “up a bit” in TV, digital imaging and hard drives as
consequence of last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan and severe flooding
in Thailand.

Galanti indicated that the warehouse club will continue to “hold
prices on many items,” even at the risk of lower gross margins, “because that’s
what we do.”