Kroger Co. on Thursday said non-fuel identical-store sales increased by 2.4% in the fiscal first quarter, a performance marking the company's 50th straight period of positive ID sales.
The same-store sales increase totaled 2.4%, a tick below analyst estimates of 2.5% growth, while net earnings increased by 2% to $680 million for the period, which ended May 21. Total sales increased 4.7% to $34.6 billion in the quarter compared to $33.1 billion for the same period last year. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 7.8%. Excluding fuel and recently acquired Roundy’s, total sales increased 3.5%.
Earnings per share of 70 cents beat analyst consensus by a penny.
“We are very pleased with a solid quarter during which we continued to strengthen our connection with customers and expand our ClickList offering to more customers in more markets," CEO Rodney McMullen said in a statement. "Fifty consecutive quarters of positive identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, is extraordinary. Our associates work tirelessly to produce these consistently remarkable results. We’ve been through all kinds of business cycles during the last 50 quarters, and we’ve demonstrated time and again that regardless of the environment, you can count on Kroger to continue executing our strategy, investing in growth and creating value for our customers and shareholders.”
Cincinnati-based Kroger on Thursday reiterated its annual sales and earnings guidance, but said earnings per share would likely come in the low to mid range of its $2.19 to $2.28 forecast.
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