CINCINNATI Kroger's third-quarter revenue, including fuel, leaped 5.9% to $18.7 billion, the supermarket giant reported.
Excluding fuel sales, total sales increased 3.1% in the third quarter, which ended Nov. 6, the company noted. Earnings per share for the company rose to 32 cents per share, totaling $202.2 million. During the same period last year, Kroger reported a net loss of $874.9 million, or $1.35 per diluted share, after the company's $1.05 billion write-down of its Ralphs division.
The strong quarterly results could be attributed to Kroger's Customer 1st strategy, Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon said. Back in 2007, the Kroger head said that the company's business model was "creating a unique competitive advantage that positions us well for multiple-year growth and ongoing value creation [for our shareholders]."
"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," Dillon said of the third-quarter results.
Looking ahead, Kroger's fiscal year 2010 guidance was lowered from a range of 2% to 3%, to a range of 2.5% to 3% for its same-store sales growth. The company's earnings per share range also was narrowed from $1.60 to $1.80 per diluted share down to $1.65 to $1.78 per diluted share.