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    Overall Q2 Sales Up 6% at Kroger

    Same-store sales rise 2.7%

    The Kroger Co. reported total sales increased 6.0 percent to $18.8 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2010, versus $17.7 billion for the same period last year.

    “Kroger’s sales have remained solid in the face of competitive and economic challenges because of the strong credibility we have with our shoppers. Our team understands the importance of finding ways to make each customer visit better than the last one, resulting in consistent positive identical supermarket sales growth,” said David Dillon, chairman and CEO of the Cincinnati-based grocer. “We continue to build momentum through our ‘Customer 1st’ strategy, which serves Kroger customers, associates, shareholders and communities well in a variety of operating environments.”

    Excluding fuel sales, total sales increased 3.3 percent in the second quarter, which ended Aug. 14, over the same period last year. Identical supermarket sales, without fuel, increased 2.7 percent in the second quarter over last year.

    Net earnings for the second quarter totaled $261.6 million, or 41 cents per diluted share. Net earnings in the same period last year were $254.4 million, or 39 cents per diluted share.

    Capital investment, excluding acquisitions and purchases of leased facilities, totaled $402.5 million for the second quarter, compared with $518.0 million for the same period last year.

    During the second quarter, Kroger invested $148.3 million to repurchase 7.3 million shares of stock at an average price of $20.43 per share. At the end of the quarter, approximately $409.2 million remained under the $500 million stock repurchase program announced in June 2010.

    For the first two quarters of fiscal 2010, total sales were $43.6 billion compared with $40.5 billion for the same period last year. Excluding fuel sales, total sales increased 3.2 percent over the prior year. For the same period, identical supermarket sales, excluding fuel, increased 2.6 percent.
     

    The company said it continues to expect identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, of 2 percent to 3 percent for the year. Kroger still expects to invest up to $2.1 billion in capital projects in fiscal 2010.

    “We are committed to achieving solid financial results today while we invest in the future growth of Kroger’s business. As we move into the second half of the fiscal year, we are striving to achieve results in the top half of our earnings guidance range, even as the operating environment remains uncertain,” Dillon said. “Our talented associates are energized and focused on delivering a great experience in our stores for shoppers as we enter the holiday season.”

    Kroger operates 2,468 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s.
     

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