SAN DIEGO, Aug. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PSMT) today announced that for the month of July 2018, net merchandise sales increased 2.6% to $248.9 million, from $242.5 million in July a year earlier. For the eleven months ended July 31, 2018, net merchandise sales increased 5.0% to $2,805.0 million from $2,671.7 million for the eleven months ended July 31, 2017. There were 41 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of July 2018 and 39 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of July 2017.
For the four weeks ended July 29, 2018, comparable merchandise sales for the 39 warehouse clubs open at least 13 1/2 full months increased 0.2% compared to the same four-week period last year. For the forty-seven week period ended July 29, 2018, comparable merchandise sales increased 2.6%, compared to the comparable forty-seven week period a year ago.
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 now 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). Additionally, PriceSmart through its Aeropost subsidiary provides logistics, payment and ecommerce services in Latin America and the Caribbean. Aeropost currently serves customers in 38 countries with Costa Rica, Trinidad and Jamaica as its largest markets.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements concerning the Company's anticipated future revenues and earnings, adequacy of future cash flow, proposed warehouse club openings, the Company's performance relative to competitors, the outcome of tax proceedings and related matters. 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 external and internal risks:
Natural disasters that might cause damages not covered by insurance;
Negative macroeconomic conditions;
Volatility in foreign currency exchange rates and limitations on our ability to convert foreign currency to U.S. dollars;
Changes in, and inconsistent enforcement of, laws and regulations in countries where we operate, including those related to tariffs and taxes;
Crime and security concerns, which can adversely affect the economies of the countries in which we operate and which require us to incur additional costs to provide additional security at our warehouse clubs;
Recoverability of moneys owed to PriceSmart from governments in countries where we do business;
The possibility of operational interruptions related to union work stoppages; and
Political instability, such as recent unrest in Honduras and the ongoing anti-government protests in Nicaragua, which have disrupted our operations there.
Timely identification or effectively responding to changes in consumer shopping preferences with resulting negative effects on our sales and market share;
Significant competition, including from international online retailers;
Limitations on the availability of appropriate sites for new warehouse clubs could adversely affect growth;
Increased costs due to delays or failure in our efforts to integrate our online commerce with our traditional brick and mortar business;
Acquisitions, such as our acquisition of Aeropost, Inc. in March 2018, may expose us to additional risks;
Cost increases from product and service providers;
Interruption of supply chains, which might adversely impact on our ability to import merchandise;
Failure to maintain our brand's reputation;
Exposure to product liability claims and product recalls;
Failure to maintain our computer systems and/or disruption in those systems;
Delays or cost overruns implementing our anticipated new Enterprise Resource Planning system;
Any failure to maintain the security of the information we hold relating to our company, our members, employees and suppliers;
Failure to attract and retain qualified employees, significant increases in wage and benefit expenses, or changes in labor laws with consequent material adverse effect on our financial performance;
Changes in accounting standards affecting management's financial assumptions, projections, estimates and judgments; and
A few of our stockholders own approximately 25.3% of our voting stock as of May 31, 2018, which may make it difficult to complete some corporate transactions without their support and may impede a change in control.
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, 2017 filed on October 26, 2017, 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, Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer (858) 404-8826.