(Reuters) - Warehouse club retailer Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by increased store traffic and higher sales of fresh foods.
Fresh food was among the company's strongest selling categories, according to its monthly sales reports for September, October and November.
Costco last week reported a 1 percent rise in quarterly sales at U.S. stores open more than a year. Comparable sales, excluding impact of changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange, also rose 1 percent.
Comparable sales and traffic in the quarter remained strong in the United States, except in the first two weeks of November due to the U.S. Presidential election, but picked up in the second half of the month, the company had said.
Net income attributable to the company rose to $545 million, or $1.24 per share, in the first quarter ended Nov. 20, from $480 million, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.19 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total revenue rose 3.2 percent to $28.10 billion, slightly below estimates of $28.30 billion.
Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta