Cincinnati – Kroger Co. reported a 4% increase in its first-quarter profit, helped by the addition of Harris-Teeter, which the grocery giant acquired in January 2014. Kroger raised its net earnings and same-store sales forecast for the fiscal year.
The company earned $501 million in the quarter, up from $481 million in the year-ago period. The payment of $56 million to withdraw from two pension funds negatively impacted Kroger’s net earnings.
Total sales increased 9.9% to $32.96 billion in the first quarter, compared to $30 billion for the same period the previous year. Same-store sales, excluding fuel, increased 4.1%.
“Kroger associates continue to enhance our connection with all customers and achieve our key performance measures, which are allowing us to achieve our growth strategy and create shareholder value,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s CEO. “Our strong first quarter results set us up to deliver a 12%-15% net earnings growth rate for the year, partly due to the benefit of Harris Teeter.”