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Increased customer loyalty drives up Kroger Q2 performance


CINCINNATI — Kroger attributed its gains in sales and earnings in the second quarter to cost control and increased customer loyalty and was confident enough to raise its earnings guidance.

The retailer reported net earnings of $279.1 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $280.8 million, or 46 cents per diluted share, for the same period last year.

Kroger reported total sales, including fuel, increased 3.9% to $21.7 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2012 compared with $20.9 billion for the same period last year. In the second quarter, total sales, excluding fuel, increased 3.8% over the same period last year.

"We are pleased with Kroger's strong performance in the second quarter," said David Dillon, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Kroger shareholders once again benefited from our Customer 1st strategy. Increased customer loyalty and solid cost controls allowed us to grow sales, profitability, and shareholder value."

Kroger has raised its fiscal 2012 earnings guidance to a range of $2.35 to $2.42 per diluted share. The company continues to expect identical supermarket sales growth for the full year, excluding fuel, of 3% to 3.5%. Kroger expects to achieve in the upper end of the range for both earnings per share and sales growth. The previous earnings per share guidance was a range of $2.33 to $2.40.

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