retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• Kroger announced yesterday that its fourth quarter total sales increased 2.2% to $17.2 billion for the fourth quarter ended February 2, 2008. Adjusting for the extra week in the fourth quarter of the previous year, total sales increased 10.2%. Same-store sales for the 12-week period increased 8.2% with fuel and 5.3% without fuel, based on the same 12-week period in both years.

Net earnings in the fourth quarter totaled $322.9 million, down from $384.8 million a year ago, when the quarter was a week longer.

For the just-completed fiscal year, Kroger said that total sales increased 6.2% to $70.2 billion. Adjusting for the extra week in fiscal 2006, total sales increased 8.2%.

Same-store sales increased 6.9% with fuel and 5.3% without fuel, based on the same 52-week period in both years.

Net earnings for fiscal 2007 were $1.18 billion, compared to $1.11 billion last year.

KC's View: