Hurricane Impacts Kroger 3Q Profit

Cincinnati Kroger Co. reported Tuesday that its third-quarter profit fell 6%, mainly because of damages and disruption from Hurricane Ike, and indicated that it expects slow holiday spending to hurt fourth-quarter results.

Kroger said it earned $237.7 million in the quarter, down from $253.8 million a year earlier. The company said results were hurt by an after-tax charge of $15.9 million related to its $25 million insurance deductible for Ike. The storm-damaged stores, forced some to shut down temporarily and caused outage-spoiled food in September, particularly in Texas and inland states as far away as Ohio that suffered severe windstorms.

Third-quarter revenue rose 9% to $17.6 billion. Same-store rose 5.6% in the quarter without fuel sales, and 7.8% with them.

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