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March 5, 2002 at 4:02 AM EST

Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports Second Quarter and Year-to-date Operating Results for Fiscal 2002 and February Sales Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash., Mar 5, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: COST) announced today its operating results for the second quarter (12 weeks) and first half (24 weeks) of fiscal 2002, both ended February 17, 2002.

Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2002 increased 13% to $9.21 billion from $8.16 billion during the second quarter of fiscal 2001. Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2002 increased 9% to $192.6 million, or $.41 per diluted share, compared to $176.6 million, or $.38 per diluted share, during the second quarter of fiscal 2001.

Net sales for the first half of fiscal 2002 increased 12% to $17.51 billion from $15.66 billion during the first half of fiscal 2001. Net income for the first half of fiscal 2002 increased 5% to $322.2 million, or $.68 per diluted share, compared to net income for the first half of fiscal 2001 of $306.1 million, or $.65 per diluted share.

In addition to reporting second quarter fiscal year 2002 operating results, the Company today reported net sales of $2.77 billion for the 4-week retail reporting month of February, the four weeks ended March 3, 2002, an increase of 13% from $2.45 billion in the same four-week period of the prior fiscal year.

For the 6-month retail reporting period of September through February, the twenty-six weeks ended March 3, 2002, which includes the first two weeks of the Company's fiscal third quarter, the Company reported net sales of $18.90 billion, an increase of 12% from $16.90 billion during the comparable period of the prior fiscal year.

Comparable sales for the fiscal second quarter (12 weeks) and fiscal first half (24 weeks) of fiscal 2002, both ended February 17, 2002, are as follows:

                          12 Weeks          24 Weeks
                        -------------     -------------
US                           8%                7%
International                2%                0%
Total Company                7%                6%
                        =============     =============
	   Comparable sales for the 4-week retail reporting month of February
and the 26-week retail reporting period of September through February
are as follows:
                          4 Weeks           26 Weeks
                        -------------     -------------
US                           8%                7%
International                3%                0%
Total Company                8%                6%
                        =============     =============
Costco currently operates 386 warehouses, including 285 in the United States, 60 in Canada, 11 in the United Kingdom, five in Korea, three in Taiwan, two in Japan and 20 in Mexico. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at www.costco.com. The Company plans to open 14 to 16 additional new warehouses (including the relocation of three to four warehouses to larger and better-located facilities) prior to the end of its fiscal year ending September 1, 2002.

A conference call to discuss these second quarter results is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. (PST) today (March 5th), and is available via a webcast on www.costco.com (go to Customer Service, Investor Relations, Financial Releases and click on the "Live Webcast" icon).

                     COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION
              CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
             (dollars in thousands, except per share data)
                              (unaudited)
                           12 Weeks Ended            24 Weeks Ended
                    ------------------------- ------------------------
                      Feb. 17,      Feb. 18,      Feb. 17,     Feb.18,
                         2002          2001         2002        2001
                    ----------- ------------- ------------- ----------
REVENUE
  Net sales.........$9,208,413  $ 8,159,980   $ 17,505,489 $15,658,959
  Membership fees
    and other.......   174,439      146,329        343,916     284,628
                    ----------- ------------- ------------- ----------
    Total revenue... 9,382,852    8,306,309     17,849,405  15,943,587
OPERATING EXPENSES
  Merchandise costs. 8,212,030    7,275,958     15,646,427  13,989,602
  Selling, general
    and
    administrative..   840,005      731,411      1,626,123   1,422,538
  Preopening
    expenses........     8,616       10,572         30,750      30,252
  Provision for
    impaired assets
    and closing
    costs...........     3,000        1,000         11,550      2,000
                    ----------- ------------- ------------- ----------
                    ----------- ------------- ------------- ----------
    Operating
        income......   319,201      287,368        534,555    499,195
OTHER INCOME
(EXPENSE)
  Interest expense..    (6,199)      (8,902)       (12,437)   (15,866)
  Interest income
    and other.......     7,926       15,829         14,903     26,834
                    ----------- ------------- ------------- ----------
                    ----------- ------------- ------------- ----------
INCOME BEFORE
    INCOME TAXES....   320,928      294,295        537,021    510,163
  Provision for
    income taxes....   128,372      117,718        214,809    204,065
                    ----------- ------------- ------------- ----------
                    ----------- ------------- ------------- ----------
NET INCOME..........$  192,556  $   176,577   $    322,212  $ 306,098
                    =========== ============= ============= ==========
                    =========== ============= ============= ==========
NET INCOME PER
    COMMON AND
    COMMON
    EQUIVALENT
    SHARE:
  Basic.............$     0.43  $      0.39   $       0.71  $    0.68
                    =========== ============= ============= ==========
                    ----------- ------------- ------------- ----------
  Diluted...........$     0.41  $      0.38   $       0.68  $    0.65
                    =========== ============= ============= ==========
                    =========== ============= ============= ==========
Shares used in
    calculation
    (000's)
  Basic.............   452,882      448,788        452,436    448,234
  Diluted...........   479,931      475,488        478,749    474,543

CONTACT: Costco Wholesale Corporation Richard Galanti, 425/313-8203 Bob Nelson, 425/313-8255