Kroger posts higher Q2 profit on cost controls, stronger sales
Sept 12 (Reuters) - Kroger Co, the biggest U.S. supermarket operator, on Thursday reported higher second-quarter profit on stronger sales and lower expenses, sending shares up nearly 3 percent in premarket trading.
Total sales at the Cincinnati-based company that also owns the Ralphs, Smith's and Food 4 Less chains rose 4.6 percent to $22.7 billion, including fuel. Excluding fuel, sales were up 3.9 percent.
Net income increased to $317 million, or 60 cents per share, from $279 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier, on lower expenses in the latest quarter.
Kroger tightened its full-year forecast for identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, to a range of 3 percent to 3.5 percent from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent. It maintained its outlook for annual profit of $2.73 per share to $2.80 per share.
Kroger rivals range from supermarket operator Safeway Inc to retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc,
Shares in Kroger were up 2.7 percent to $38.68 in premarket trading.