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Kroger flexes financial muscle in fiscal 1Q

The Kroger Co has reported net earnings of $351.5 million for the first quarter ended May 24, 2003. These results include after-tax income of $0.2 million. Earnings in the year-ago period, before the cumulative effect of an accounting change, were $321.7 million. These results include an after-tax charge of $66.4 million.

Total sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 rose 3.8% to $16.3 billion. Total food-store sales rose 3.5%. Identical food-store sales, including fuel, declined 0.1%. Identical food-store sales, excluding fuel, fell 1.1%. Comparable food-store sales, which include relocations and expansions, climbed 0.7% for the quarter. Comparable food-store sales, excluding fuel, dropped 0.5%. The Cincinnati OH-based retail grocery chain estimates that its product costs, including fuel, were flat. Excluding fuel, product cost deflation was negative 0.5% in the quarter.

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