ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Sales in the food-sundries and fresh categories at Costco Wholesale Corp. here led all other product groups during the second quarter, which ended Feb. 17, Richard Galanti, executive vice president and chief financial officer, told analysts yesterday during a conference call to discuss the company’s financial results. Produce had the strongest comparable sales, followed by deli, he noted. However, tobacco, which accounts for about 10% of volume in the food and sundries category, was a drag on comps following the company’s decision to curtail tobacco sales at about 100 locations, Galanti pointed out. For the 12-week quarter, net income rose 31.4% to $327.9 million, with net sales, excluding membership fees, increasing 12.2% to $16.6 billion and comps, excluding gas, up 7%. For the half, net income climbed 21.3% to $589.8 million, with sales up 12% to $32.1 billion and comps rising 7%.
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