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    Kroger Restates Earnings

    CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. here has restated its earnings through 2003, because of accounting errors involving its deferred tax account balances.

    CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co. here has restated its earnings through 2003, because of accounting errors involving its deferred tax account balances.

    In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Kroger said the adjustment reduces 2004 earnings by $4 million, with no effect on a per-share basis. The restatement also reduces 2003 profits by $27 million, or 4 cents per share, and also results in a reduction of income tax liabilities, by $79 million, and an increase in goodwill of $31 million.

    As a result of the disclosure -- the second in as many years -- three-year accumulated earnings will increase by $79 million, the company said. In the same period last year, Kroger restated results back to 2001 after finding it had improperly accounted for property leases, an error that caused it to reduce accumulated earnings through 2003 by $26 million.

    Kroger said it would post its annual earnings today.

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