KROGER: GROSS MARGIN INVESTMENTS TO HURT 2004 PROFITS

CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here said last week it intends to stick with its two-year-old strategy of investing gross margin to build sales, with the expected result being lower profits in 2004.The company noted that this strategy excludes any lingering effects from the recently concluded Southern California strike-lockout.At the same time, Kroger noted that the labor dispute will continue to impact

CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here said last week it intends to stick with its two-year-old strategy of investing gross margin to build sales, with the expected result being lower profits in 2004.

The company noted that this strategy excludes any lingering effects from the recently concluded Southern California strike-lockout.

At the same time, Kroger noted that the labor dispute will continue to impact its financial performance to such an extent that it could not offer guidance mo

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