Grocery retail giant Kroger has met financial expectations, posting a 19% increase in Q1 profits and reiterating its financial year outlook of 16-18% earnings growth. Net income for the three months was posted at US$303m, up from US$100m for the same period in 2000, and revenue rose 5.4% to US$15.1m.

The fourth-largest grocery retailer in the world, Kroger's recent performance has impressed analysts, who point out that the earnings are far above those posted at sector rivals Wal-Mart and Safeway. The company was also up against a sharp increase in utility costs in California, and was forced to hike prices in a bid to offset the higher energy bills.
 
Chairman and CEO of the group, Joseph Pichler, commented that the positive results were largely down to the benefits of US$366m synergy savings garnered through Kroger's 1999 merger with Fred Meyer.