Costco Wholesale Corporation has posted comparable store sales revenue for third quarter 2015 to US$25.5 billion, down -1% due to negative impacts of foreign exchange and gasoline deflation, and up 6% excluding these factors.
However, despite the weakest quarterly sales result in nine years, profit rose to US$516 million, with membership fees a strong contributor.
Costco, which operates 673 warehouses, with 474 in the US and Puerto Rico, 20 in Japan, 11 in Korea, 10 in Taiwan, and seven in Australia, is one of the biggest fuel retailers in the US.
The discount membership retailer plans to open up to 15 new warehouse in the 12 months to August 30, 2015, with one planned for Australia in 2015 and another in 2016.
Costco Australia managing director Patrick Noone said in January that petrol sales at its four Australian petrol sites are doing really well as people look for more competition in petrol, which has been very positive for Costco’s membership.
Since entering Australia in 2009, Costco has opened seven stores and four petrol stations, with petrol added at Crossroads (NSW), North Lakes (Queensland), Canberra, and Kilburn in Adelaide.
According to media reports, a warehouse and petrol station will open in the Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin by the end of 2015, and at Sydney’s Marsden Park in 2016.
Costco held talks in early 2015 with the Logan City Council in Brisbane to open a store in the city and a Costco Australia spokeswoman confirmed that that company had been scouting several potential sites.
Mr Noone expects that the Australian business will post a profit this financial year and generate $1 billion in sales, compared with $878.5 million for the 12 months to August 2014.
Costco was one of several retailers and wholesalers hit hard by the Anzac Day hail storms in Sydney, which damaged Costco’s NSW warehouse at Huntingwood.