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Costco posts increases in Sept., 4Q and FY08


ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco posted net sales of $22.63 billion for its fourth quarter ended Aug. 31., a 13% increase over $20.09 billion in 2007's fourth quarter. Comparable-warehouse sales increased 9% over 2007. Net sales for fiscal year 2008, ended Aug. 31, were $70.98 billion, an increase of 13% from $63.09 billion in fiscal year 2007. Comparable-warehouse sales increased 8% over the prior fiscal year.

Excluding gasoline price inflation, U.S. comparable sales would have been up 6% for the 16-week fourth quarter and up 4% for the 52-week fiscal year.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $397.8 million, or 90 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $372.4 million, or 83 cents per diluted share, in the like period last year, an increase of 7 cents per diluted share, or 8% year-over-year. Fourth-quarter results were negatively impacted by a non-cash pre-tax LIFO charge of $32.3 million ($21.2 million, or 5 cents per diluted share, after-tax), primarily resulting from price increases in various food and grocery items and gasoline in the Company's U.S. merchandise inventories. The results also include a $15.9 million pre-tax charge ($10.4 million, or 2 cents per diluted share, after-tax) recorded in connection with a litigation settlement.

Net income for fiscal year 2008 was $1.28 billion, or $2.89 per diluted share, compared to $1.08 billion, or $2.37 per diluted share, during fiscal year 2007.

For the month of September, ended Oct. 5, Costco reported net sales of $6.67 billion, an increase of 10% from $6.05 billion in 2007. Total company comparable sales rose 7%.

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