Kroger Tops Expectations in 10th Consecutive Year of Growth

Thu. March 5th, 2015 - by Christofer Oberst

CINCINNATI, OH - Kroger has outperformed all expectations in yet another year and quarter of positive growth.

Kroger’s fourth quarter earnings rose 23%, boosted by strong sales and higher fuel margins, according to the financial report. Last year’s acquisitions, which included Harris Teeter and, also contributed to the increase in sales, which were totaled at $25.2 billion during the quarter.

According to the Wall Street Journal, analysts expected revenue of $25.13 billion.

Other highlights from the company’s 45th consecutive quarter of growth included:

  • Total sales increased by 8.5%
  • Net earnings totaled $518 million

For the full year, Kroger reported total sales of $108.5 billion, an increase of 10.3%. Net earnings for 2014 totaled $1.73 billion.

Other highlights from the company’s 10th consecutive year of growth included:

  • The creation of 25,000 new jobs
  • Achieved 2.00 – 2.20 net total debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio earlier than anticipated
  • Reduced operating expenses as a rate of sales

Rodney McMullen, CEO and Chairman, Kroger“2014 was an outstanding year by all measures,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger CEO and Chairman. “Kroger captured more share of the massive food market, delivered on our commitments and invested to grow our business. While improved fuel margins contributed to our results in the second half of the year, our core operating performance without fuel shows that our associates are improving our relationship with customers in ways that grow loyalty and generate strong shareholder returns.”

Michael Schlotman, SVP and CFO, Kroger (Credit: Cincinnati Business Courier)Looking ahead, Michael Schlotman, Kroger SVP and CFO, said, “We anticipate identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, of approximately 3.0% to 4.0% for fiscal 2015. This range takes into account several factors: It is early in the year, our outlook for inflation is lower than actual inflation last year, and we expect our strong trend in unit growth to continue in 2015.”

As of 1:00 pm ET on March 5, Kroger shares were up $3.74 to $73.39, an increase of 5.37%.