visit our consumer sites
  Site Map Contact Us
press releases
speech archives
values
history
historic timeline
charitable giving
 

  2012   2011   2010   2009   2008   2007   2006  
« Go back

KROGER REPORTS THIRD QUARTER 2010 RESULTS

Net Earnings Increased, Identical Supermarket Sales Up 2.4% Without Fuel

CINCINNATI, Ohio, December 2, 2010 – The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today reported total sales, which include fuel, increased 5.9% to $18.7 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2010 compared with $17.7 billion for the same period last year. Excluding fuel sales, total sales increased 3.1% in the third quarter, which ended November 6, 2010, over the same period last year. Identical supermarket sales, without fuel, increased 2.4% in the third quarter over the same period last year.

Net earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2010 totaled $202.2 million, or $0.32 per diluted share. In the third quarter of fiscal 2009, Kroger reported a net loss of $874.9 million, or $1.35 per diluted share. The fiscal 2009 results included non-cash asset impairment charges totaling $1.05 billion, after tax, that primarily resulted from a goodwill write-down. Excluding these impairment charges, net earnings for the quarter would have been $176.7 million, or $0.27 per diluted share (Table 6).

“Kroger’s customers today are looking for lower prices and a great shopping experience, and our Customer 1st strategy delivers all that and more,” said David B. Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Our team increased identical supermarket sales, earnings and earnings per share in the third quarter while controlling expenses to keep prices low for our customers. These results show Kroger’s strategy is working and that our core grocery business is strong and resilient.”

Details of Third Quarter 2010 Results
Including Kroger’s retail fuel operations, FIFO gross margin (Table 1) was 22.14% of sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2010, a decrease of 56 basis points compared to the third quarter last year. Excluding retail fuel operations, FIFO gross margin decreased 10 basis points. Supermarket selling gross margin (Table 1) declined 13 basis points without fuel.

Including Kroger’s retail fuel operations, operating, general and administrative (OG&A) costs were 17.11% of sales, a decline of 65 basis points compared with the third quarter last year. Excluding retail fuel operations and adjusting for the impairment charges in fiscal 2009, OG&A decreased 14 basis points from the same period last year. Positive identical sales growth, good cost control, and productivity improvements offset the continued challenge of rising credit card fees, health care and pension costs.

Kroger’s operating margin increased 6 basis points as a percentage of sales from the same period last year, excluding retail fuel operations and adjusting for the impairment charges in fiscal 2009. Including retail fuel operations and the impairment charges in fiscal 2009, Kroger’s operating margin increased 647 basis points as a percentage of sales compared to the same period last year. The impairment charges in fiscal 2009 accounted for 643 basis points of the increase.

Financial Strategy
Capital investment, excluding acquisitions and purchases of leased facilities, totaled $484.0 million for the third quarter, compared with $552.1 million for the same period last year.

At the end of the third quarter, net total debt (Table 5) was $7.2 billion, a decrease of $489.3 million from a year ago. On a rolling four-quarters basis, Kroger’s net total debt to EBITDA ratio was 1.93, which is consistent with the same period last year after adjusting for the impairment charges in fiscal 2009.

During the third quarter, Kroger invested $64.0 million to repurchase 2.9 million shares of stock at an average price of $21.72 per share. At the end of the quarter, approximately $352.5 million remained under the $500 million stock repurchase program announced in June 2010.

Fiscal 2010 Year-to-Date Results
For the first three quarters of fiscal 2010, total sales were $62.3 billion compared with $58.2 billion for the same period last year. Excluding fuel sales, total sales increased 3.2% over the prior year. For the same period, identical supermarket sales, excluding fuel, increased 2.5%.

Net earnings for the first three quarters of fiscal 2010 were $837.5 million, or $1.30 per diluted share. Kroger reported a net loss of $185.4 million for the first three quarters of fiscal 2009, or $0.29 per diluted share. Excluding the impairment charges, net earnings would have been $866.2 million, or $1.33 per diluted share (Table 6) for the first three quarters of last year.

Kroger’s operating margin for the first three quarters of fiscal 2010 decreased 38 basis points as a percentage of sales from the same period last year, excluding retail fuel operations and adjusting for the impairment charges in fiscal 2009. Including retail fuel operations and the impairment charges in fiscal 2009, Kroger’s operating margin increased 160 basis points as a percentage of sales compared to the same period last year. The impairment charges in fiscal 2009 accounted for 195 basis points of the increase.

Fiscal 2010 Annual Guidance
Kroger narrowed its annual identical supermarket sales guidance for fiscal 2010. The Company now expects identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, to range between 2.5% and 3.0%. The previous guidance range was 2.0% to 3.0%.

For full-year net earnings, Kroger narrowed its guidance range to $1.65 to $1.78 per diluted share. The Company is striving to achieve results in the upper half of this guidance range. The previous range was $1.60 to $1.80 per diluted share.

Kroger now expects to invest approximately $1.8 to $2.0 billion in capital projects during the fiscal year. This compares to earlier guidance of $1.9 to $2.1 billion.

“Our enthusiastic Kroger team shines during the holiday season, and we expect a solid end to our fiscal year,” Mr. Dillon said. “We remain focused on delivering sustainable earnings growth today for our shareholders while investing for the future. In addition, Kroger’s stock buyback program, debt reduction, and recent dividend increase in September demonstrate our ongoing commitment to creating value.”

 

Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 334,000 associates who serve customers in 2,461 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The Company also operates 784 convenience stores, 375 fine jewelry stores, 954 supermarket fuel centers and 40 food processing plants in the U.S. Kroger, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, and local organizations in the communities it serves. For more information about Kroger, please visit www.kroger.com


# # #

Note: Fuel sales have historically had low FIFO gross margin and OG&A rates as compared to corresponding rates on non-fuel sales. Additionally, pricing and margins in Kroger’s retail fuel operations can be volatile on a quarterly basis. As a result, Kroger discloses such rates, both including and excluding the effect of retail fuel operations.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements about the future performance of the Company. These statements are based on management’s assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to it. Such statements are indicated by words such as “guidance” and “expects.” Aggressive competition, economic conditions, interest rates, goodwill impairment, the success of programs designed to increase our identical supermarket sales without fuel, and labor disputes, particularly as the Company seeks to manage increases in health care and pension costs, could materially affect our expected identical supermarket sales growth and earnings per share. Earnings per share also will be affected by the number of shares outstanding, as well as the volatility in the Company’s fuel margins, which will be affected by changes in fuel costs. Earnings and sales also may be affected by adverse weather conditions, particularly to the extent that hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other conditions disrupt our operations or those of our suppliers; create shortages in the availability or increases in the cost of products that we sell in our stores or materials and ingredients we use in our manufacturing facilities; or raise the cost of supplying energy to our various operations. Our results also will be affected by rising commodity costs, the inconsistency of the economic recovery, changes in government-funded benefit programs, consumer confidence, and changes in inflation and deflation in product and operating costs. Our capital expenditures could vary from our expectations if we are unsuccessful in acquiring suitable sites for new stores; development costs vary from those budgeted; our logistics and technology or store projects are not completed on budget or within the time frame projected; or if current operating conditions fail to improve, or worsen. These forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. We assume no obligation to update the information contained herein. Please refer to Kroger’s reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties.

Note: Kroger’s quarterly conference call with investors will be broadcast live online at 10 a.m. (ET) on December 2, 2010 at www.kroger.com and www.streetevents.com. An on-demand replay of the webcast will be available from approximately 1 p.m. (ET) today through Thursday, December 16, 2010.


###

View 3rd Quarter 2010 Reports - PDF Format:

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
SUPPLEMENTAL SALES INFORMATION
RECONCILIATION OF TOTAL DEBT TO NET TOTAL DEBT
NET EARNINGS PER DILUTED SHARE EXCLUDING IMPAIRMENT CHARGES

Kroger Contacts:
Media: Lynn Marmer (513) 762-1304
Investors: Carin Fike (513) 762-4969

« Go back