LIMERICK PA – Costco Wholesale Corp., the retailer approved to build the largest store in the opening section of the shopping complex known as The Gateway at Sanatoga – on the south side of U.S. Route 422 at its Sanatoga interchange – today (Wednesday, March 3, 2010) reported higher profits for its just-ended quarter, according to Reuters Business News.

“For its fiscal second quarter ended Feb. 14, 2010, Costco earned $299 million, or 67 cents a share, compared with $239 million, or 55 cents a share, a year earlier,” Reuters reported.

Costco was “helped by more shoppers coming into its stores and improved sales of discretionary items, like home decor and clothes,” the news service added. Discounts offered by warehouse stores on staple items like food and health and beauty items also were said to appeal to shoppers battling the recession.

Costco also announced higher same-store sales – a gain of 9 percent – for February 2010 compared to 2009. Thomson Reuters data shows 11 analysts were expecting, on average, a gain in same-store sales of 8.5 percent.

The company is the nation’s largest operator of warehouse club stores. Construction of its store in Limerick (PA) Township, near the Philadelphia Premium Outlets, is anticipated to get under way this spring.