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Costco October same-store sales beat forecast

A shopper wheels his cart from a Costco Wholesale store in Arlington, Virginia August 6, 2009. REUTERS/Richard Clement
A shopper wheels his cart from a Costco Wholesale store in Arlington, Virginia August 6, 2009. REUTERS/Richard Clement

(Reuters) - U.S. retailer Costco Wholesale Corp posted a better-than-expected 7 percent rise in October sales at stores open at least a year, helped by higher gasoline prices and a weak dollar.

Analysts had expected a rise of 6.6 percent, including the impact of fuel prices and foreign exchange, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Excluding the effects of fuel and currency exchange, Costco posted an October same-store sales increase of 5 percent.

The company said net sales rose 9 percent to $7.67 billion in the four weeks to October 28.

David Sherwood, Costco's director of finance and investor relations, said in a pre-recorded conference call that Costco had several warehouses closed after power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy. These closures are expected to have a marginal impact on November sales, Sherwood said.

"At this point in time it is too early to estimate the total sales loss from the closings," he said. "None of the warehouses suffered extensive damages."

The company said that it plans to open up to ten additional warehouses by the end of the year.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad and Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by David Goodman)

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