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Costco ends year with strong sales, earnings

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco reported fourth-quarter sales of $31.52 billion, an increase of 14% from $27.59 billion for the same period last year.

Net income for the quarter was $609 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, compared with $478 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

Comparable-store sales, excluding fuel, rose 6% at U.S. stores, 7% internationally and 6% for the total company.

Net sales for the 53-week fiscal year 2012 were $97.06 billion, an increase of 12% from $87.05 billion in the prior fiscal year. Total comps for the year were up 6%.

Net income for the year was $1.71 billion, or $3.89 per diluted share, compared with $1.46 billion, or $3.30 per diluted share, during  fiscal year 2011.

Costco ended its 2012 fiscal year with 608 warehouses in operation, including 439 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 82 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, 13 in Japan, nine in Taiwan, eight in Korea, and three in Australia.