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    Q4, FY ’12 Sales Up at Kroger

    Dillon credits associates for 37 consecutive quarters of growth

    Total sales at The Kroger Co. hit $96.8 billion in fiscal year 2012, an increase of 7.1 percent over the prior year.

    Adjusting for the extra week in fiscal 2012, total sales increased to $94.8 billion or 4.9 percent; excluding fuel, total sales increased 6 percent, or 4 percent adjusted for the extra week. Net earnings for FY 2012 totaled $1.50 billion, or $2.77 per diluted share.

    "We are very pleased with our full year 2012 results," said David B. Dillon, Kroger chairman and CEO. "We achieved strong sales and pharmacy results, plus controlled expenses well throughout the year. We delivered value to shareholders by increasing our dividend 30 percent and exceeding our own earnings per share guidance through the combination of solid operating results and share buybacks in 2012."

    In Q4, total sales increased 12.8 percent to $24.2 billion or 3.7 percent adjusted for the extra week. Net earnings were $461.5 million, or 88 cents per diluted share.

    "Our associates delivered an outstanding year that underscores how our growing connection with customers remains the key to shareholder value creation," Dillon said. "Kroger's unique value offering of better service, great products and an enjoyable shopping experience with low prices continues to resonate with a full range of customers. The result is an industry-leading 37 consecutive quarters of positive identical sales growth."

    Kroger returned more than $1.5 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends in 2012. During the fourth quarter, Kroger repurchased 2.2 million common shares for a total investment of $57 million.

    Capital investments, excluding acquisitions and purchases of leased facilities, totaled $2 billion for the year, compared to $1.9 billion in 2011.

    Full-year net earnings for fiscal 2013 are expected to range from $2.71 to $2.79 per diluted share. Kroger anticipates identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, of approximately 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent.

    "Kroger's performance is the result of our associates' hard work and commitment to making each day better for our customers," Dillon said. "Building on the momentum of last year, we expect to deliver the growth in 2013 that we outlined at our investors meeting in October."

    Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,424 supermarkets and multi-department 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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