GAINS SEEN FOR KROGER AS ALBERTSONS STARTS TO FALTER

CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here said last week it expects strong sales gains to continue through the balance of the year -- an expectation echoed by industry analysts, who said Kroger's prospects appear even brighter with the possible sale of Albertsons, Boise, Idaho.

Kroger said increases in customer counts and transaction sizes drove sales increases for the second quarter and first half ended Aug. 13, with sales rising 6.8% to $13.9 billion for the quarter and 6.5% to $31.8

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