Kroger’s fourth-quarter profit handily beat Wall Street expectations as the country’s largest traditional supermarket operator saw sales climb.
The Cincinnati-based company, which also owns Fred Meyer and QFC, said revenue at stores open at least a year rose 3 percent for the quarter, excluding fuel. The metric is a key gauge of health because it strips out revenue from newly opened and closed locations.
The better-than-expected results come as Kroger works to fend off growing competition. To build customer loyalty, Kroger has focused on improving the in-store experience, offering discount programs and upgrading and expanding its stable of private-label products.