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PriceSmart sales in January jump 10.2%

PriceSmart Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT) announced Thursday that its net sales for January 2013 increased 10.2 percent to $173.5 million from $157.4 million in January a year earlier.

For the four months ended Jan. 31, 2013, net sales increased 11.5 percent to $950.7 million from $853.0 million in the same period last year. There were 30 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of January 2013 compared to 29 warehouse clubs in operation in January 2012.

For the four weeks ended Jan. 27, 2013, comparable warehouse sales for the 29 warehouse clubs open at least 13 1/2 full months increased 3.9 percent compared to the same four-week period last year.

Due to the timing of New Year's Day, the four-week period ending Jan. 27, 2013, had one fewer sales day than the comparable four-week period last year. The loss of one sales day in the January 2013 four-week period caused comparable sales to be approximately 3.7 percentage points lower than if the two four-week periods had the same number of sales days.

For the 21-week period ended Jan. 27, 2013, comparable warehouse sales increased 8.8 percent compared to the comparable 21-week period a year ago.

Additionally, PriceSmart announced that on Monday, it acquired approximately 20,370 square meters of land located in La Union, Cartago, Costa Rica, upon which PriceSmart plans to construct its sixth membership warehouse club.

Company officials currently anticipate opening the Cartago Club in the fall of 2013.

PriceSmart entered the Costa Rica market 13 years ago and is currently operating five PriceSmart Membership Warehouse Clubs there, pending the opening of this planned sixth club.

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