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    Costco Fourth-quarter Earnings Fall 5 Percent

    Costco Wholesale Corporation announced on Thursday its results of operations for the fourth quarter and the 52 weeks (fiscal year) ended September 2, 2001.

    ISSAQUAH, Wash. - Costco Wholesale Corporation announced on Thursday its results of operations for the 16 weeks (fourth quarter) and the 52 weeks (fiscal year) ended September 2, 2001.

    Net income for the 16-week fourth quarter decreased 5% to $190.7 million, or $.41 per diluted share, from $200.2 million, or $.43 per diluted share, during the 17-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2000. Net income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 was impacted by a $16 million ($9.6 million after-tax, or $.02 per diluted share) provision for closing costs primarily related to the company's reorganization and consolidation of its administrative operations in Canada. Before the impact of this charge, net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 would have been $200.3 million, or $.43 per diluted share.

    Net sales for fiscal 2001, the 52 weeks ended September 2, 2001, were $34.14 billion, an increase of 8% from $31.62 billion during the prior 53-week fiscal year ended September 3, 2000. On a like 52-week year-over-year comparison, total net sales increased 10%. Comparable warehouse sales increased 4% over the comparable 52-week period of fiscal 2000. Net sales for the 16-week fourth quarter ended September 2, 2001, increased 5% to $10.91 billion from $10.41 billion during the 17-week fourth quarter ended September 3, 2000. On a like 16-week quarter-over-quarter comparison, total net sales increased 11%. Comparable warehouse sales during the 16-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 increased 5% over the comparable 16-week period in the prior fiscal year.

    Net income for fiscal 2001, a 52-week fiscal year, decreased 5% to $602.1 million, or
    $1.29 per diluted share, from $631.4 million, or $1.35 per diluted share during fiscal year 2000, a 53-week fiscal year.

    In addition to reporting fourth quarter and fiscal year 2001 operating results, the company also reported net sales of $3.26 billion for the five weeks ended October 7, 2001, an increase of 10% from $2.97 billion in the same five-week period of the prior fiscal year. On a comparable warehouse basis, that is warehouses open at least a year, sales increased 4% during this five-week period.

    Costco currently operates 369 warehouses, including 268 in the United States, 60 in Canada, 11 in the United Kingdom, five in Korea, three in Taiwan, two in Japan and 20 in Mexico. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at www.costco.com. The Company plans to open an additional 16 to 17 warehouses (including the relocation of two existing warehouses to larger and better-located facilities) prior to the end of the calendar year.

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