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Costco sees modest gain

ISSAQUAH, Wash. – Soft lines sales fell below Costco Wholesale Corp.’s 7 percent comp during the recent quarter, but within the category domestics and home furnishings were strong performers, the company reported during its third quarter earnings conference call today.

Overall profits edged up a slender 5.6 percent to $209.8 million, held in check by store pre-opening and closing costs. Sales improved 10.1 percent, to $11.7 billion.

Costco is “ramping up” its expansion plans for its fiscal year 2006 with more store openings than originally expected. The retailer will open at least 25 to 30 units in fiscal year 2006, “many more underway now in comparison to last year,” said Richard Galanti executive vice president, chief financial officer.

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