Half-year profits have increased by more than a third at US wholesale giant Costco.

The retailer booked net income of US$963m for the 24 weeks to 17 February, up 34.8% on the year.

Net sales increased 9% to $47.55bn on the back of higher comparable-store sales. Excluding fuel prices and fluctuations in exchange rates, comparable-store sales were up 5%. In the US, comparable-stores sales grew 6%; overseas, they were up 5%.

In Canada, local retailer Sobeys saw sales and profits increase in the third quarter of its parent Empire Co.'s financial year.

Empire said adjusted net earnings from its Sobeys food retailing business was C$71.7m for the 13 weeks to 2 February, up C$66.4m a year before.

Sales from Sobeys were up 8.8% at C$4.28bn. Same-stores sales were up 1.2%.

Back in the US, convenience store group Casey's General Stores saw third-quarter profits fall.

Casey's reported net income of US$15.5m for the three months to the end of January, down from $16.7m a year earlier.

Revenue increased 5.3% to US$1.66bn. The retailer opened 28 stores in the quarter. Same-store sales of grocery and "other merchandise" were up 3.2%. Prepared food and fountain same-store sales rose 11.6%.