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Costco annual revenue tops $200 billion for first time; not increasing fees

Costco operates 838 warehouses around the globe.

Inflation didn’t get in the way of Costco’s most recent quarter.

Costco Wholesale Club. reported fourth-quarter net income of $1.87 billion, or $4.20 a share, up from $1.67 billion, or $3.76 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings of $4.17 per share.

Revenue rose to $72.09 billion in the quarter ended Aug. 28, up from $62.67 billion, amid strong spending on consumables. Analysts had expected sales of $70.8 billion.

Total company same-store sales rose 13.7%. Same-store sales in the U.S. increased 15.8%. Adjusted to exclude the impacts from fuel prices and foreign exchange, U.S. same-store sales rose 9.6%. E-commerce comparable sales rose 7.1%.

Globally, membership fee income rose 7.5% to $1.33 billion. The overall number of paid household members for the quarter was 65.8 million. with a nearly 93% renewal rate among U.S. members.

In August, Costco rival Sam’s Club announced it was hiking its annual membership fees, beginning in October. Despite speculation that Costco would follow the suit, the retailer is keeping its fees the same for the time being.

“There are no specific plans regarding an increase at this time,” said CFO Richard Galanti on the company’s earnings call. “We’re pleased with our growth in both topline sales and membership households.”

But as to whether Costco would raise its membership fees at some point in the future, Galanti said it’s a question of “when, not if.”

For the full year, Costco’s sales increased 16.0%, to $222.73 billion, crossing the $200 billion mark for the first time. Total comp sales for the year rose 14.4%. E-commerce sales increased 10.1%.

Costco currently operates 838 warehouses, including 578 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 107 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 31 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 17 in Korea, 14 in Taiwan, 13 in Australia, four in Spain, two each in France and China, and one in Iceland.

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