Profit has risen at US warehouse club operator Costco but shares fell after it failed to meet expectations.

For its first quarter to November 21, net income was up 20.6% to $193m on sales up 10% to $11.34bn. The bottom line was boosted by sales of gasoline but otherwise affected by the hurricanes. It is still confident about plans to open 23 to 25 new depots in 2005.