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Kroger thriving with $30.5 billion quarter

kroloIt was a good second quarter for Kroger.

The Cincinnati-based retailer reported that identical sales without fuel grew 14.6 percent and digital sales grew 127 percent. Total company sales were $30.5 billion in the second quarter, compared to $28.2 billion for the same period last year.

“We delivered extremely strong results in the second quarter and expect to deliver consistently attractive total shareholder returns,” said  Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen. “We are more certain than ever that the strategic choices and investments made through Restock Kroger to execute against our competitive moats — Fresh, Our Brands, Personalization and Seamless — have positioned Kroger to meet the moment, especially as customers are rediscovering their passion for food at home."

McMullen was quick to laud Kroger employees when talking about the company’s second quarter success.

"Each day I'm inspired by the work our incredible associates do to bring to life our purpose, to Feed the Human Spirit. I am proud of our dedicated associates who are serving our customers when they need us most. Our top priority is to provide a safe environment for associates and customers and as the pandemic continues, we will continue to rise to meet the challenge.”

He also paid mention to Kroger customers.

“Customers are at the center of everything we do and, as a result, we are growing market share. Kroger's strong digital business is a key contributor to this growth, as the investments made to expand our digital ecosystem are resonating with customers. Our results continue to show that Kroger is a trusted brand and our customers choose to shop with us because they value the product quality and freshness, convenience, and digital offerings that we provide.”

Looking forward, Kroger CFO Gary Millerchip was bullish. "As a result of our strong performance in the first half, the expectation of sustained trends in food at home consumption and confidence in our ability to execute against the Restock Kroger strategy, we are updating our full year 2020 guidance,” he said. “There are still many uncertainties and, as a result, we are providing a wider guidance range. For the full year 2020, we expect total identical sales without fuel to exceed 13 percent and we expect to achieve adjusted EPS growth of approximately 45 to 50 percent.

“Relative to delivering on our total shareholder return growth targets as outlined at our November 2019 Investor Day,” he continued, “these factors also lead us to believe that our 2021 business results will be higher than we would have expected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic."

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