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    Costco Wholesale Corp. Reports Third Quarter, YTD Operating Results for Fiscal 2003

    ISSAQUAH, Wash -- Costco Wholesale Corporation announced today its operating results for the third quarter (12 weeks) and the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2003, ended May 11, 2003.

    ISSAQUAH, Wash -- Costco Wholesale Corporation announced today its operating results for the third quarter (12 weeks) and the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2003, ended May 11, 2003.

    Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2003 increased 11% to $9.34 billion from $8.44 billion during the third quarter of fiscal 2002. On a comparable warehouse basis, that is warehouses open at least a year, net sales increased 6%.

    Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2003 increased 18% to $153.8 million, or $.33 per share (diluted), from $130.4 million, or $.28 per share (diluted), during the third quarter of fiscal 2002.

    Net sales for the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2003 increased 9% to $28.28 billion from $25.94 billion during the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2002. Comparable warehouse sales during the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2003 increased 5 percent over the prior year's level.
    Net income for the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2003 increased 6 percent to $481.6 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, compared to net income for the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2002 of $452.6 million, or $.96 per diluted share. Excluding the pre-tax charge of $26 million ($16 million or $.03 per diluted share after tax) reflecting an increase in workers' compensation loss reserves, which was booked in the second quarter of fiscal 2003, net income for the first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2003 would have been $497.6 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, reflecting a 10 percent increase in net income over the prior year's thirty-six week period.

    Costco currently operates 416 warehouses, including 307 in the United States, 61 in Canada, 15 in the United Kingdom, five in Korea, three in Taiwan, four in Japan and 21 in Mexico. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at www.costco.com. The Company plans to open three additional new warehouses prior to the end of its 2003 fiscal year on August 31, 2003, and an additional 12 new warehouses (including the relocation of one warehouse to a larger and better-located facility) prior to the end of calendar year 2003.

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