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    Kroger Announces New $500 Million Stock Repurchase Program

    CINCINNATI ¿ On the heels of posting a 25 percent net income decline to $142.4 million for the second quarter ended Aug. 14, The Kroger Co.'s board of directors has authorized the repurchase of $500 million of the retailer's common stock.

    CINCINNATI – On the heels of posting a 25 percent net income decline to $142.4 million for the second quarter ended Aug. 14, The Kroger Co.'s board of directors has authorized the repurchase of $500 million of the retailer's common stock.

    The timing of the repurchases will vary according to market conditions, according to the company, whose repurchase program replaces the $500 million stock buyback announced in December 2002, which had approximately $15.9 million remaining at the close of business Wednesday.

    "The new share repurchase plan reflects our confidence in the company's strategic direction and our belief that Kroger shares represent an attractive investment opportunity," David B. Dillon, Kroger chairman and c.e.o., said in a statement.

    At the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2004, Kroger operated (either directly or through its subsidiaries) 2,530 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 32 states under two dozen banners, including Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, King Soopers, Smith's, Fry's, Fry's Marketplace, Dillons, QFC, and City Market. Kroger also operated (either directly or through subsidiaries, franchise agreements, or operating agreements) 792 convenience stores, 439 fine jewelry stores, 502 supermarket fuel centers, and 42 food-processing plants.

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