Kroger to Hawk More Financial Products

CINCINNATI - The Kroger Co. here plans to start selling more financial products at its supermarkets later this year, according to c.e.o. David Dillon, who spoke at the chain's annual meeting yesterday.

Dillon also dismissed speculation that the company could be a takeover target, repeating comments he made in the spring that Kroger was not interested in a leveraged buyout deal, despite business press reports alleging private equity firms were after the grocery giant. Dillon told shareholders yesterday that Kroger intends to grow organically, as an independent publicly-owned company.

Kroger Personal Finance already offers items such as a MasterCard that gives users rewards, including discounts on gas purchases, according to Reuters. Kroger currently sells items such as pet insurance, mortgages, home equity lines of credit and identity theft insurance. Dillon said the company plans to introduce new financial products but did not indicate what those products might be.

Earlier in the week, Kroger reported a rise in profits that was weaker than analysts anticipated, which the chain attributed to a work stoppage at a distribution center.
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