Costco Wholesale Corporation announced its operating results for the 16-week fourth quarter and the 52-week fiscal year, ended August 29, 2021. Net sales for the quarter increased 17.5 percent, to $61.44 billion from $52.28 billion last year. Net sales for the fiscal year increased 17.7 percent, to $192.05 billion from $163.22 billion last year. Net income for the fourth quarter was $1.670 billion, or $3.76 per diluted share, compared to $1.389 billion, or $3.13 last year. This year’s fourth quarter was negatively impacted by a write-off of certain information technology assets of $84 million pre-tax ($0.14 per diluted share). Last year’s fourth quarter was negatively impacted by incremental expense related to COVID-19 premium wages and sanitation costs of $281 million pretax ($0.47 per diluted share) and a $36 million pretax charge ($0.06 per diluted share) related to the prepayment of $1.5 billion of debt, partially offset by an $84 million pretax benefit ($0.15 per diluted share) for the partial reversal of a reserve related to a product tax assessment taken in fiscal year 2019. Net income for the fiscal year was $5.01 billion, or $11.27 per diluted share, compared to $4.00 billion, or $9.02 per diluted share in the prior year.
Torstar Corporation announced today it is launching a major national expansion with a reinvention of its Metro urban commuter newspapers and more robust digital offerings in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax and nationally.
The move represents a major investment in journalism, with Torstar hiring 20 new reporters to join existing Metro newsrooms in western Canada.
Effective Tuesday, April 10, the Metro free daily newspapers will be rebranded as StarMetro Vancouver, StarMetro Calgary, StarMetro Edmonton, StarMetro Toronto and StarMetro Halifax.
At the same time Torstar is significantly expanding its digital offerings in the five cities, backed by the award-winning journalism of the Toronto Star and thestar.com. Readers in each city will be directed to a city-specific version of thestar.com that will feature news of their city and region along with the investigations, columns, national and international news for which thestar.com is known. Consumers outside the target markets will see a national edition of thestar.com.
John Boynton, President and CEO of Torstar, said “This initiative represents a major investment in journalism for Torstar in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Halifax where we already have a strong presence with our Metro newspapers and digital products. We will focus on news our readers value highly, especially local news and investigative pieces that will set us apart from our competitors in these communities.”
Cathrin Bradbury, Metro’s editor-in-chief, said “investigations will play a large role” in the expanded coverage in the cities served by StarMetro publications. “It’s also about giving our customers something they can sink their teeth into after their morning commute – meaningful local news, exclusives, investigations and in-depth coverage they can follow throughout the day.”
Amplified by the authoritative journalism of thestar.com and the Toronto Star and extending a progressive voice to these communities, Torstar will now be able to give readers a seamless print-to-digital experience in a new format that provides news and much more all through the day.
Boynton said research shows that contrary to conventional wisdom there is a large appetite in western Canada and the Maritimes for a progressive voice in the news media, which matches the Star’s history of championing progressive social issues and in-depth investigations.
“That same research also found that readers across Canada value Torstar’s websites and newspapers for many things, but fundamentally they are important for them because we make things happen – we investigate, we report and we effect change,” he said.
“This is one of the first executions in our transformation strategy, with many more planned over the next three years,” he added.
Torstar is also launching an extensive marketing and promotional campaign aimed at readers and advertisers across the country to raise awareness of the national expansion.