NEW YORK – Kroger Co. is raising its earnings outlook for the year after the nation’s largest traditional supermarket chain reported a third-quarter profit that topped Wall Street expectations.
The company, which also operates Fred Meyer and QFC, has been working to improve the shopping experience and build customer loyalty as it fends off competition from specialty grocers such as Whole Foods and big-box retailers such as Target, as well as dollar stores and drugstore chains.
As shopping habits change, the Cincinnati-based company has also been experimenting with new formats such as its larger “Marketplace” stores that have a bigger footprint and sell general merchandise in addition to groceries.
CEO Dave Dillon has said that Kroger’s supermarket format would continue to evolve to remain relevant.
For the three months ended Nov. 3, the company said revenue at locations open at least a year rose 3.2 percent. The company said it earned $316.5 million, or 60 cents per share, for the period. That compares with $195.9 million, or 33 cents per share, a year ago. The most recent quarter included gains from a settlement with Visa and MasterCard and a reduction in the company’s pension fund contributions. Not including special items, the company earned 46 cents per share. Revenue rose 6 percent to $21.81 billion.