ISSAQUAH, WA-Costco Wholesale Corp. plans another 30 new stores for the 2008 fiscal year, the same number of new locations opened in fiscal 2007, the chain’s management said Thursday in reporting higher sales and profits for the first quarter of the 2008 fiscal year. Company officials discussed the financial results in a conference call Thursday regarding results for the first quarter ended Nov. 25.

The new Costco stores opened in fiscal 2007 represented an increase of about 6.5% in unit growth and slightly more than 6.5% in square footage growth, accoriding to Richard Galanti, Costco’s CFO. Galanti explained that the square footage growth was slightly larger because Costco’s new stores and its relocations tend to be larger than the existing stores.

Costco’s net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2008 increased 12% to nearly $15.5 billion from approximately $13.9 billion during the first quarter of fiscal 2007. On a comparable store basis, net sales increased 8%.

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