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Kroger bags another impressive quarter of growth


For nearly 12 years, Kroger has reported sames-store sales growth every quarter. And they did it again Friday when they reported a jump in sales, as well as an increase in profit for the second quarter.

Kroger reported net earnings of $433 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, and identical supermarket sales growth, without fuel, of 5.3% in the second quarter of fiscal 2015.

“We are pleased with our second quarter performance. Our core food business continued its strong performance and we benefitted from fuel margins that expanded throughout the quarter,” Kroger chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen, adding that the company is working toward achieving its 48th consequtive quarter of positive identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, three months from now, McMullen added.

“We are investing to grow our business for the future while delivering on our promises today,” McMullen said. “For example, our stores are hiring to fill 20,000 new, permanent jobs and we are expanding our digital and ecommerce offerings. Our confidence in Kroger has never been stronger.”

As a result of lower retail fuel prices, Kroger total sales increased 0.9% to $25.5 billion in the second quarter compared to $25.3 billion for the same period last year. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 5.7% in the second quarter over the same period last year, the company reported.

Based on its strong year-to-date results, Kroger raised its net earnings per diluted share guidance to a range of $1.92 to $1.98 for fiscal 2015. The previous guidance was $1.90 to $1.95 per diluted share. This range exceeds the company's long-term net earnings per diluted share growth rate guidance of 8% to 11%, plus a growing dividend.

Kroger raised its identical supermarket sales growth guidance, excluding fuel, to a range of 4% to 5% for fiscal 2015. The previous guidance was 3.5% to 4.5%.
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