US retail giant Kroger Co. has posted a 5% rise in like-for-like sales for the first half of 2007.

The company said today that revenue reached US$36.9bn for the first six months of the year. The sales growth drove a leap in net earnings, which hit $603.8m, compared to $515.4m a year earlier.

“The performance of Kroger’s business through the first half of 2007 exceeded our expectations, and our momentum heading into the second half of the year causes us to raise our identical sales and earnings guidance for fiscal 2007,” said Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon.

Kroger has forecast like-for-like supermarket sales growth of 4-5% for the full year and expects earnings per share to reach between $1.64 and $1.67.