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SAN DIEGO,– PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSMT) today announced that for the month of February 2019, net merchandise sales were $228.8 million versus $228.9 million in February a year earlier. Foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacted net merchandise sales negatively by $8.8 million or 3.8% versus the same prior year one-month period.
For the six months ended February 28, 2019, net merchandise sales increased 0.4% to $1,567.6 million from $1,562.0 million in the same period last year. Foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacted net merchandise sales negatively by $49.2 million or 3.1% versus the same prior year six-month period.
There were 41 warehouse clubs in operation at February 28, 2019 compared to 40 warehouse clubs in operation at February 28, 2018.
For the five weeks ended March 3, 2019, comparable warehouse sales for the 40 warehouse clubs open at least 13 1/2 full months decreased 1.9% compared to the same five-week period last year. Foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacted comparable net merchandise sales negatively by $11.0 million or 3.8% versus the same prior year period.
For the twenty-six-week period ended March 3, 2019, comparable warehouse sales decreased 1.4% compared to the comparable twenty-six-week period a year ago. Foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacted comparable net merchandise sales negatively by $48.6 million or 3.1% versus the same prior year period.
The Company reports comparable net merchandise sales on a “same week” basis with 13 weeks in each quarter beginning on a Monday and ending on a Sunday. The periods are established at the beginning of the fiscal year to provide as close a match as possible to the calendar month and quarter that is used for financial reporting purposes. This approach equalizes the number of weekend days and weekdays in each period for improved sales comparison, as we experience higher merchandise club sales on the weekends. Each of the warehouse clubs used in the calculations was open for at least 13 ½ calendar months before its results for the current period were compared with its results for the prior period.
The term “currency exchange rates” refers to the currency exchange rates we use to convert net merchandise and comparable net merchandise sales for all countries where the functional currency is not the U.S. dollar into U.S. dollars. We calculate the effect of changes in currency exchange rates as the difference between current period activities translated using the current period’s currency exchange rates, and the comparable prior year period’s currency exchange rates. The disclosure of the effects of currency exchange rate fluctuations on the Company’s results permits investors to understand better our underlying performance.
Second Quarter 2019 Earnings Announcement Details:
PriceSmart today also announced that it plans to release second quarter fiscal year 2019 financial results on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, after the market closes. PriceSmart management plans to host a conference call at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time(9:00 a.m. Pacific time) on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, to discuss the financial results. Individuals interested in participating in the conference call may do so by dialing (855) 209-8211 for domestic callers or (412) 317-5214 for international callers, and asking to join the PriceSmart, Inc. call. A digital replay will be available through April 17, 2019, following the conclusion of the call by dialing (877) 344-7529 for domestic callers, or (412) 317-0088 for international callers, and entering replay access code 10129327.
PriceSmart, headquartered in San Diego, owns and operates U.S.-style membership shopping warehouse clubs in Latin America and the Caribbean, selling high quality merchandise at low prices to PriceSmart members. PriceSmart operates 41 warehouse clubs in 12 countries and one U.S. territory (seven each in Colombia and Costa Rica; five in Panama; four each in Trinidad and Dominican Republic; three each in Guatemala and Honduras; two each in El Salvador and Nicaragua; and one each in Aruba, Barbados, Jamaica and the United States Virgin Islands). The Company has acquired property and is currently constructing warehouse clubs in Santiago, Panama and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic that are expected to open in the spring of 2019. The Company also plans to open warehouse clubs in San Cristobal, Guatemala and an additional club in Panama City, Panama, in the fall of 2019. Once these four new clubs are open, the Company will operate 45 warehouse clubs. PriceSmart also operates a cross-border logistics and e-commerce business through Aeropost, Inc. (“Aeropost”), which was purchased in March 2018. PriceSmart is utilizing and building on the technology and talent it acquired through Aeropost to invest in and further develop omni-channel capabilities to allow its members alternative ways to shop. Aeropost operates certain segments of its business directly or via agency relationships in 38 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, many of which overlap with markets where PriceSmart operates its warehouse clubs, and has distribution and administration facilities in Miami, Florida.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s future performance. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements containing the words “expect,” “believe,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “project,” “estimate,” “anticipated,” “scheduled,” and like expressions, and the negative thereof. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially including, but not limited to, the following risks:
The risks described above as well as the other risks detailed in the Company’s U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) reports, including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2018 filed on October 25, 2018, pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, see “Part I – Item 1A – Risk Factors,” could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. These risks are not the only risks that the Company faces. The Company could also be affected by additional factors that apply to all companies operating globally and in the U.S., as well as other risks that are not presently known to the Company or that the Company currently considers to be immaterial.
For further information, please contact Maarten O. Jager, Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer (858) 404-8826.