Costco Wholesale Operations, the US warehouse operator, reported higher fourth quarter profit due to strong sales of health and beauty products as well as food and hardware.

Net profit for the fourth quarter ended August 29, grew to $296.8m compared with $239.4m a year earlier. Net sales increased 11% to $14.83bn.

For the full financial year, net sales grew by 13% to $47.15bn, while net profit increased by 22% to $882.4m.

Costco Wholesale is a multi-billion dollar global retailer with warehouse club operations in eight countries.

Costco’s rival company, Sam's Club, owned by Wal-Mart, has 71% more US stores with 532 outlets compared to 312, yet the average Costco store generates nearly double the revenue of a Sam's Club ($112 million vs. $63 million for the year ended August 31).

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