Costco Posts Q4 Sales, Profit Gains

Costco Wholesale Corp. plans to accelerate store expansion, with 29 net new locations scheduled to open in fiscal 2011, compared with 13 new facilities that opened in the fiscal year that ended Aug. 29.

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. [4] here said Wednesday it plans to accelerate store expansion, with 29 net new locations scheduled to open in fiscal 2011, compared with 13 new facilities that opened in the fiscal year that ended Aug. 29.

Of the 29 stores, 16 will be in the U.S. and 13 overseas. The company said it has already opened one new location — in San Diego — with seven more planned before Nov. 21, the day the first quarter ends, including three in Chicago.

Net income for the fiscal year rose 20% to $1.3 billion, while sales climbed 9% to $76.3 billion and overall comparable-store sales, excluding gasoline, increased 7%.

For the 16-week fourth quarter net income was $432 million, up 15.5%, while sales grew 8% to $23.6 billion and companywide comps, excluding gas, were up 6%.

Excluding gas, U.S. comps rose 4% in both the year and fourth quarter, while international comps rose 19% for the year and 14% for the quarter.