ISSAQUAH, Wash.-Increased sales and a one-time tax benefit pushed Costco to a 38.8 percent gain in net income in its fiscal second quarter, to $547 million.
Net sales in the quarter, which ended on Feb. 17, rose 8.2 percent to $24.3 billion, and included a same-club sales pickup of 5 percent. The income-tax benefit, which was connected to the portion of the special cash dividend Costco paid in December, helped the bottom line to the tune of $62 million.
Costco’s gross margin dropped 156 basis points to 12.5 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 8.4 percent but were flat as a percentage of sales, at 9.5 percent.
In its statement on the second quarter, Costco said it plans to open 14 new warehouse clubs by the end of its fiscal year, on Sept. 1. The company currently operates 622 warehouses throughout the world.