Kroger Stays on Financial Track

NEW YORK - Kroger Co. today said it reaffirmed its fiscal 2002 forecast of 10 percent to 12 percent earnings per share growth, helped by strong sales of high-margin private label food and household items, Reuters reports.

The No. 1 U.S. grocer's chief financial officer, Michael Schlotman, said he expects Kroger to benefit from rival Albertson's Inc. plan to exit its Houston and San Antonio markets and bankrupt retailer Kmart Corp.'s pending closure of 283 stores. Schlotman spoke at the Banc of America Securities consumer conference in New York.

He added that Kroger will complete about two-thirds of its projected $500 million in cost reductions in 2002. It is targeting sustained EPS growth of about 13 percent to 15 percent beginning in 2004.
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