US: Costco Ends Year With Strong Q4 Gains

Costco has reported better-than-expected results for its fiscal fourth quarter, helping push up overall figures for the last year.

For the three months to 28 August, net profit was up 1.6% to $779m, while sales grew by 2% to $35.7bn.  Like-for-like sales were up 2% in the US (excl. fuel, constant-currency basis), while they rose by 5% in Canada and by 1% in other countries.

The wholesale giant said it was helped by lower fees to credit card partner Visa, and as its shoppers increased their spending on appliances, electronics and hardware.  However, it also reported a drop in prices of grocery and fresh food for the period.

For the year, net profit was down 1.1% to $2.35bn, while sales grew by 2.1% to $116.1bn.  LFL sales (excl. fuel, constant-currency) were up 3% in the US, 8% in Canada, and 4% in other markets.