ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco here said yesterday that food was one of the bright spots during its fourth quarter, which ended Aug. 31, with positive comparable-store sales numbers, compared with comps that were flat to -10% in most nonfood categories, including furniture, jewelry, electronics, housewares and domestics. Net income for the 16-week quarter rose 6.8% to $397.8 million, while sales climbed 12.6% to $22.6 billion and U.S. comps rose 9%. For the year, net income increased 18.5% to $1.3 billion, with sales up 12.5% to $71 billion and U.S. comps rising 6%. Richard Galanti, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said comps for food and sundries ranged from the high single digits to the mid-teens — despite a drop of 11% in tobacco sales, which is part of sundries; while fresh foods, including meat, saw increases in the high singles and bakery and deli in the mid-double-digit range.
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