For its fiscal fourth quarter, Costco saw sales grow only 1% over the same period last year; however there were 16 weeks in the fourth quarter of this year, compared to 17 last year. For the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 1, sales were $102.9 billion, up 6% over last year's $97.1 billion.
On a comparable sales basis, sales were up 4% for the four-week period, 5% for the 16-week period, and 6% for the 52-week period. However, Costco noted that both gas prices and foreign exchange rate fluctuations contributed a negative impact to comparable sales numbers, and after excluding for those, sales were actually up 6% for the four-week period. Those factors did not have a material impact on the 16- and 52 week periods.
In a call discussing these results, Jeff Elliott, assistant vice president of finance investor relations, noted that U.S. sales results were strongest in the Southeast, Midwest, and Texas regions.
He also stated that Costco plans to open up to 15 new locations before the end of 2013, which would add to its current footprint of 634 warehouses, of which 451 are in the United States, 85 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, and 65 in other international locations.