Costco Q4 Profits Up 11%

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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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