CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. here yesterday said its same-store sales for the second quarter were up 4.7%, excluding gasoline, and were trending above 5% for the first three weeks of the third quarter, which began Aug. 17. Despite the highest inflation on grocery products in 20 years, Kroger said for the most part it has been able to pass along its cost increases to consumers in the form of higher retail prices. In a conference call with analysts, David Dillon, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company has seen strong interest in its private-label products, particularly in the company’s premium Private Selection line, its fastest-growing line. It also has seen increased interest in its value-oriented locations. Net income for the second quarter rose 3.4%, to $276.5 million, on an 11.9% increase in sales, to $18.1 billion. Same-store sales including fuel rose 9.7%. Through the first half net income rose nearly 10%, to $662.5 million, on an 11.7% rise in sales, $41.2 billion.
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