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Costco’s Q2 Profits Fall 15%

Issaquah, Wash. – A trying holiday season, unfavorable foreign exchange rates and a prior-year tax benefit conspired to cut Costco’s second quarter profits by 15.4 percent.

Net income was $463 million for the three months, ended Feb. 16, on net sales of $25.8 billion, a 6 percent increase, while U.S. comp-store sales rose 5 percent, excluding the impact of lower gasoline prices.

Nevertheless, weaker sales and gross margins in certain non-foods categories, particularly during the four-week holiday selling season, contributed to the quarter’s lower earnings, Costco chief financial officer Richard Galanti said.

The company also reported sales results for February: Net sales rose 4 percent to $7.9 billion for the four weeks, ended March 2, and U.S. comp store sales also rose 4 percent, excluding the impact of lower gasoline.

The No. 1 warehouse club currently operates 649 stores, including 462 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.