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Costco international comparable sales up in third quarter

29
May '08
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced its operating results for the third quarter (12 weeks) and first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2008, ended May 11, 2008.

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 increased 13% to $16.26 billion, from $14.34 billion during the third quarter of fiscal 2007. As previously reported, prior year third quarter sales results were negatively impacted by an increase in our sales returns reserve of $228.2 million. Excluding the sales returns reserve increase, the net sales increase would have been 12%.

Net sales for the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2008 increased 12% to $48.35 billion, from $43.00 billion during the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2007. Excluding the sales return reserve adjustments recorded in the second and third quarters of fiscal 2007, which aggregated to $452.6 million, the net sales increase would have been 11%.

The U.S. comparable sales figure includes, among other things, the effect of recent gasoline price inflation, with the average sales price per gallon of gasoline up 20% year-over-year for the quarter. Excluding this, U.S. comparable sales in the third quarter would have been 4%.

In addition, significantly stronger foreign exchange rates, primarily in Canada, positively impacted the third quarter's international comparable sales results. On a local currency basis, international comparable sales increased 6% in the third quarter.

Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was $295.1 million, or $.67 per diluted share, compared to $224.0 million, or $.49 per diluted share, during the third quarter of fiscal 2007.


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