The Kroger Co. reported Thursday that its same-store sales for the first quarter of 2013 were up 3.3 percent, without fuel. It marks the company’s 38th consecutive quarter of positive identical supermarket sales.
“Kroger achieved strong sales and record earnings per share for the quarter, and our customers’ positive view of us continues to improve,” said David B. Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “This is because of our continued focus on the Customer 1st strategy. Our first quarter results give us the confidence to raise our guidance for the year.”
Kroger continues to expect identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, of approximately 2.5 to 3.5 percent for fiscal year 2013.
Additionally, Kroger’s total sales increased 3.4 percent to $30.0 billion in the first quarter compared with $29.1 billion for the same period last year. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 3.8 percent in the first quarter over the same period last year.
Net earnings for the first quarter totaled $481 million, or $0.92 per diluted share. Net earnings for the first quarter last year were $439 million, or $0.78 per diluted share.
During fiscal 2013, Kroger plans to use cash flow from operations to maintain its current investment grade debt rating, repurchase shares, pay dividends to shareholders and fund capital investments. The company continues to expect capital investments to be in the $2.1 to $2.4 billion range for the year.
“The Kroger team’s relentless focus on delivering on our Customer 1st strategy, quarter after quarter, continues to set us apart,” Dillon said. “We will continue to build on this strong momentum to drive growth and greater shareholder value.”