Costco fiscal 2007 earnings top $1 billion
ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter sales that boosted earnings for its full year over $1 billion.
In an Oct. 10 conference call, Costco reported $372.4 million in earnings for its fourth quarter ended Sept. 2 and $20.09 billion in revenue. Same-store sales during the quarter rose 5 percent. For the full year, Costco reported $1.08 billion in earnings—just below the record $1.1 billion posted in fiscal 2006—and $60.9 billion in revenue.
Costco’s pharmacy sales totaled $2.72 billion, an increase of 7.9 percent from 2006. Prescription sales generated $1.35 billion in revenue—a 7.5 percent increase over last year—while OTC sales increased 8.1 percent to $1.37 billion.
Margins increased in most categories at Costco this year, including pharmacy. “Pharmacy margins were up a little year over year, not withstanding the effects of Medicare Part D and competitive issues with generics,” said Costco executive vice president and chief financial officer Richard Galanti. Costco opened 25 new stores in the United States during the year.
Costco got off to a good start for fiscal 2008 with a 6 percent jump in September same-store sales, rebounding from a weak 2 percent increase in August. There are some concerns about the economy heading into next year, but Galanti said its September sales have Costco “pretty optimistic about the year so far.”
Tesco to open first U.S. stores Nov. 8
LOS ANGELES British grocery giant Tesco plans to make a big splash with its U.S. debut Nov. 8 by opening 6 stores on one day in Southern California. Tesco said it would open Fresh & Easy outlets in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties that day.
“After great anticipation, we’re thrilled to open our doors to neighborhoods in Southern California,” said Fresh & Easy chief operating officer Tim Mason. He said the 10,000-square-foot stores would provide a fast and convenient experience for shoppers. Tesco plans to open more stores later this year in Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego and has about 30 openings scheduled for 2007 and approximately 350 through 2010.
Unilever, Sunbeam Back ‘DeGeneres’ Marketing Program
NEW YORK Unilever and Sunbeam have been named exclusive national sponsors of “Wish You Were Here,” a joint AOL/Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) marketing program for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” according to Marketing Daily.
As part of the marketing program, Unilever’s All small & mighty concentrated laundry detergent is directing a nationwide eco-education program and contest called “Search for the Greenest Grade School in America.” The grand prize-winning school will get $50,000 toward building an eco-friendly playground, among other prizes.
As a supporting sponsor, the Sunbeam Rocket Grill will get prime online branding through the site and integration as an audience prize on the TV show.
“Ellen is one of the most popular personalities on television, and we are excited to partner with Telepictures to create this program that connects Ellen with her fan base across the country,” said Kathy Kayse, EVP of AOL Brand Solutions.
The 10-week program, available at ellen.aol.com, is a cross-platform collaboration between AOL, WBTVG and its Telepictures Productions unit. Visitors to the site can upload their stories, photos and videos with their pitches. DeGeneres will use the stories on her TV show and visit the winner in December.