Cincinnati Kroger Co. is interested in expanding, but not by buying struggling competitors, according to the Associated Press.
The report said that CEO David B. Dillon sees "plenty of growth opportunities" and has been considering acquisitions. However, the company is steering away from businesses that are marked down because they fell behind as the recession battered industry profits.
"We look at lots of things, but we're not interested in becoming someone's turnaround artist," Dillon said in the interview with the Associated Press after the annual shareholders meeting. "We run good stores and are good at running good stores, and we don't want to buy somebody else's problem."
Dillon said Kroger is most likely to add stores in or near its current markets in 31 states.
The company owns Ralphs, Dillons, QFC and other chains, along with Kroger.
"We're very highly selective," Dillon said. "Generally the ones we've looked at more often are the ones in our existing markets and adjacent markets."
Kroger reported last week that profits fell 14% in the first quarter, while sales rose 9%. Dillon told shareholders Kroger has been increasing market share and its based of loyal customers and fared better than most competitors during the recession.