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    Sales Rise, Profits Flat for Costco’s Fiscal Q1

    Lower gas prices, higher merchandise costs, and a weak dollar offset a boost in sales at membership club retailer Costco Wholesale Corp., resulting in flat fiscal first-quarter profits that were in line with analysts’ expectations.

    Lower gas prices, higher merchandise costs, and a weak dollar offset a boost in sales at membership club retailer Costco Wholesale Corp., resulting in flat fiscal first-quarter profits that were in line with analysts’ expectations.

    Net sales for the first quarter (12 weeks) of fiscal 2010, ended Nov. 22, 2009, increased 6 percent to $16.92 billion, from $16.04 billion last year. Comparative-store sales increased 3 percent.

    Net income for the quarter was $266 million, or 60 cents per share, compared with $263 million, or 60 cents per share, last year.

    Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco operates 566 warehouses, including 413 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 77 in Canada, 21 in the United Kingdom, seven in Korea, six in Taiwan, nine in Japan, one in Australia, and 32 in Mexico.

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