US retailer Supervalu has announced the sale of its Denver-based operations, which include nine retail stores and a warehouse facility.

Four of the nine retail stores and the distribution warehouse will be sold to rival grocery retailer Kroger. Supervalu said it was continuing discussions with other interested parties concerning the sale of the remaining retail stores.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction with Kroger is expected to close by late November 2003.

"Neither our retail nor our distribution operations in Denver generated sufficient volume or growth prospects to justify a continued capital investment. By deploying our capital to Supervalu's best growth opportunities in both retail and distribution, we can build upon the successes in our core markets while improving our return on invested capital," said Jeff Noddle, Supervalu chairman and CEO.

Supervalu revised its earnings-per-share guidance for fiscal 2004 to between $2.04 and $2.10, compared to an earlier forecast of between $2.05 and $2.12 per share.