Costco reported double-digit net sales growth for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year, with shopping frequency up 7.2% worldwide (up 5.2% in the U.S.) during the fourth quarter as compared to the same quarter last year.
According to the company, the best performing core categories for the quarter were candy, frozen, kiosks, lawn and garden, jewelry, toys, bakery and deli. And Costco believes there’s “a little light at the end of the tunnel” when it comes to inflation. Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti told analysts in a conference call last week “the estimated price inflation overall was 8%, a little higher on the food and sundries side, a little lower on fresh foods, and both higher and lower on the nonfood side.”
Membership fee income rose 7.5% year over year to $1.33 billion, and total paid member households rose 6.5% to 65.8 million. Galanti said there are no specific plans for a membership fee increase at this time, although analysts expect an increase sometime in the near future.
Overall net sales for fiscal year 2022 were $222.73 billion, a 16% increase over 2021, and net earnings were $5.84 billion.
Costco opened 26 warehouse clubs, including three relocations, in fiscal 2022. Galanti said plans include 25 net new locations in fiscal 2023, 15 in the U.S. The company currently operates 838 warehouse clubs overall, with 578 in the U.S. and the remainder in Canada (107), Mexico (40), Japan (31), the United Kingdom (29), Korea (17), Taiwan (14), Australia (13), Spain (4), France (2), China (2) and Iceland (1).