Kroger Reports Record Earnings

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Kroger Co. has reported total sales increased 11.5% to $23.1 billion for the first quarter ending May 2008, while identical supermarket sales increased 9.2% with fuel and 5.8% without fuel.

The company’s net earnings in the first quarter totaled $386 million, compared to $336 million last year.

“Our strategy positions us well to deliver consistent results and make investments for our future,” said David Dillon, Kroger Co.’s chairman and CEO. “Kroger continues to help customers stretch their budgets in a number of ways, including lower prices and our expanded generic drug and gas discount programs. Through these kinds of price reductions, our customers are saving $1 billion annually.”

In addition to its supermarkets, Kroger Co. operates five convenience store chains, including Kwik Shop, Turkey Hill, Loaf ‘n’ Jug, Quik Stop and Tom Thumb. Dillon said the company is already off to a strong start in fiscal 2008.

“Kroger’s performance during the quarter demonstrates the resiliency of our Customer First strategy,” Dillon said. “Our associates are connecting well with customers as our strategy continues to drive industry-leading identical sales growth and create shareholder value.”

Reuters news reported that Kroger saw sales increase for its private-label brands, likely a result of consumers searching for lower-priced food options.

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