Kroger off to strong start with positive Q1
CINCINNATI — Kroger reported solid first-quarter results and marked 30 consecutive quarters in which identical-store sales increased, the supermarket retailer announced Thursday.
Kroger said that identical-store sales rose 4.6%, excluding fuel, to about $20.8 billion. Identical stores are defined as supermarkets open at least five quarters.
The company said its first-quarter revenue for the period ended May 21, including fuel, rose 11% to about $27.5 billion, compared with the year-ago period. Excluding fuel, total sales were 4.8% above last year.
Net earnings for Kroger increased to 70 cents per diluted share, compared with 58 cents per diluted share in first quarter 2010.
Looking ahead, Kroger said that it expects identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, to range from 3.5% to 4.5% for the year. The previous guidance range was 3% to 4%. For the full year, Kroger increased its earnings guidance to $1.85 to $1.95 per diluted share.
"Our Customer 1st strategy is clearly connecting with customers," Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon said. "We have shown that our focus on people, products, prices and the shopping experience is meaningful to customers through both good and challenging times. As a result, we achieved strong performance across the company.
"Our guidance for the year reflects the balance we strive to achieve across our business — including strong identical sales growth and outstanding cost control, as well as increased earnings and earnings per share," Dillon added. "Our Customer 1st strategy will drive increased sales, cash flow and earnings growth well into the future."
Kroger will hold its annual shareholders meeting on June 23.
Retail theft reaches more than $37 billion
BOCA RATON, Fla. — A new survey recently conducted by the University of Florida found that retailers lost $37.1 billion in theft last year, up nearly $4 billion from 2009.
Criminologist Richard Hollinger led the National Retail Security Survey, which was sponsored by security systems integrator ADT Commercial. Hollinger found that employee theft made up the largest portion with $16.2 billion in losses, or more than 43% of the total, followed by shoplifting and organized retail crime, with a loss of $12.1 billion, or almost 33% of the total losses.
"It is possible this increase is due to the prevalence of ORC, where items are stolen in quantity and then resold to consumers on the Internet or at flea markets," Hollinger said. "The National Retail Federation just completed its own survey showing an increase in ORC activities with more than 95% of retailers saying they had been victims and almost 85% indicating that the problem had gotten worse over the last three years."
Retail theft includes shoplifting, employee theft, administrative error and vendor fraud.
U.S. Hispanic population outpaces overall population growth, data show
WASHINGTON — The nation’s Hispanic population grew four times faster than the total U.S. population between 2000 and 2010, with Mexicans representing the largest Hispanic group, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The recently released 2010 Census brief shows that the Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million between 2000 and 2010 and accounted for more than half of the total U.S. population increase of 27.3 million. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43% — four times the nation’s 9.7% growth rate.
About three-quarters of Hispanics in the United States are reported as Mexican, Puerto Rican or Cuban origin in the 2010 Census.
Mexican origin was the largest group, representing 63% of the total U.S. Hispanic population, up from 58% in 2000. This group increased by 54% and saw the largest numeric change (11.2 million), growing from 20.6 million in 2000 to 31.8 million in 2010. Mexicans accounted for about three-fourths of the 15.2 million increase in the total Hispanic population between 2000 and 2010.
Puerto Ricans were the second largest group, followed by the Cuban origin population, according to the data.