US retail giant Costco Wholesale Corp will return Coca-Cola Co drinks to store shelves after the two companies resolved a pricing dispute.

Costco withdrew Coca-Cola Co drinks from sale last month and took the unusual step of erecting signs in stores to explain its reasons to consumers.

But, Costco executive vice president Richard Galanti yesterday (10 December) confirmed that the two firms have resolved their differences.

"Effective from this coming Monday, Coca-Cola products will be back on our shelves," said Galanti, who is also chief financial officer of Costco, in a results conference call with analysts.

Asked to comment on the details of the dispute, he said: "Our sign that we had in stores everywhere basically said it all: until we can provide our members with these products at competitive prices, we're not prepared to sell them.

"I know everybody wants to know a bit more, but that's all your getting," he said, adding: "We have a longtime relationship with Coca-Cola Co, they're a great brand and we're happy to have them on our shelves."

Costco yesterday reported a fall in full-year and fourth quarter net sales and profits.

Sales slipped by 3% US$21.9bn in the fourth quarter to the end of August, while quarterly profits fell to $374m, from $398m in the same period of last year.

However, Galanti said trends have improved in the group's new fiscal year. "Going into Christmas we feel pretty good," he told analysts.