Gas Inflation, Exchange Rates Drive 9% Oct. Comps for Costco

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Gas Inflation, Exchange Rates Drive 9% Oct. Comps for Costco

ISSAQUAH, Wash. - Gas inflation and favorable foreign exchange rates boosted membership wholesale club retailer Costco Wholesale Corp.'s October same-store sales 9 percent over last year, beating Wall Street estimates.

The retailer's international same-store sales for the month were even better -- 17 percent - benefitting from strong foreign exchange rates, particularly those in the U.K. and Canada. Excluding this effect, international comps increased 4 percent.

At home, Costco's comparable store sales hit 7 percent, reflecting the effect of recent gasoline price inflation, with the average price per gallon up 25 percent from October 2006. Excluding gasoline price inflation, U.S. comparable sales in October would have been 5 percent.

Costco's net sales were $11.26 billion for the first nine weeks ended November 4, 2007, an increase of 11 percent from $10.16 billion last year.

Costco operates 523 warehouses, including 388 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 71 in Canada, 19 in the United Kingdom, five in Korea, four in Taiwan, six in Japan, and 30 in Mexico.