US: Kroger Posts Strong Q1 Profit

Kroger has reported better-than-expected profit growth for its fiscal first quarter, helped by continued cost controls.

For the three months ending 21 May, net profit was up around 10% to $680m, while sales were up 4.7% to $34.6bn (+7.8% excl. fuel), on like-for-like growth of 2.4% (excl. fuel).

The grocery giant said total operating costs (excl. fuel and Roundy’s) were down slightly. It noted that shoppers made more frequent shopping trips, although the basket size was smaller.  Kroger also said results from the recently-acquired Roundy’s chain were in line with expectations, although margins were lagging those of its core units.

CEO Rodney McMullen said: “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. Fifty consecutive quarters of positive identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, is extraordinary.”