Kroger Confirms Guidance

Kroger Co. last week confirmed its previous sales and earnings guidance for fiscal 2007 and beyond after they said other retailers — presumably including Supervalu — commented on weak consumer spending.

CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. here last week confirmed its previous sales and earnings guidance for fiscal 2007 and beyond after they said other retailers — presumably including Supervalu — commented on weak consumer spending.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Kroger said it does not normally comment on intra-quarter sales or earnings, but it confirmed previous projections that same-store sales would be up about 5%, excluding fuel, for fiscal 2007, and that earnings “will slightly exceed” the range of $1.64-$1.67 per share. Operating margins, excluding fuel, are “slightly improving,” the company said, and are expected to continue that trend.

Beyond the current fiscal year, which ends Feb. 2, same-store sales excluding fuel are projected to continue to grow in the 3% to 5% range.

Kroger is scheduled to present at the Merrill Lynch Retail Leaders Conference in New York this week and is expected to report results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year on March 11.