Kroger posts annual sales gains of 6.4% to $122.7 billion

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Kroger posts annual sales gains of 6.4% to $122.7 billion

By Michael Johnsen - 03/08/2018
Kroger on Thursday reported net earnings of $854 million and identical supermarket sales, without fuel, of 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017, which ended on Feb. 3, 2018. Total sales increased 12.4% to $31 billion in the fourth quarter compared to $27.6 billion for the same period last year. Total sales, excluding fuel and the 53rd week, increased 2.7% in the fourth quarter over the same period last year.

"We launched Restock Kroger in the fall of 2017 and finished the year with positive momentum in our sales and overall business," Rodney McMullen, Kroger chairman and CEO, said. "Customers are letting us know that they see, feel and appreciate our efforts to redefine the customer experience – and they are rewarding us with growing loyalty. This is the cycle that creates long-term value for shareholders. ... As we embark on our first full year of Restock Kroger, we are encouraged at the start of 2018 and confident in our ability to deliver on both our plan for the year and our long-term vision to serve America through food inspiration and uplift."

Some of the highlights for the year included $16.7 billion in annual sales of natural and organic sales, including $2 billion in Simple Truth sales; Kroger opened the Kroger Culinary Innovation Center in downtown Cincinnati and opened its 1,000th ClickList store; and Kroger hosted its second Natural Foods Innovation Summit to expand natural and local supplier offerings.

Net earnings for 2017 totaled $1.9 billion, or $2.09 per diluted share. Total sales increased 6.4% to $122.7 billion in 2017 compared to $115.3 billion in 2016. Excluding fuel, the 53rd week and the Modern Health merger, total sales increased 2.2% in 2017 compared to 2016.

Kroger is targeting identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, to range from 1.5% to 2% in 2018. The company expects net earnings to range from $1.95 to $2.15 per diluted share.