The Kroger Co. started fiscal 2021 with digital growth as total sales declined.
Total revenue for the company was $ 41.3 billion for the first quarter, a slight decrease from $ 41.5 billion for the same period last year. Net income declined 88% from $ 1.2 billion to $ 140 million. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) decreased 2% from $ 1.22 to $ 1.19. Sales in the same store excluding fuel decreased 4.1%.
However, digital sales increased 16% compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Kroger raised its guidance for the year for Adjusted Net Earnings per Diluted Share to $ 2.95-3.10; from $ 2.75 to $ 2.95 per share. The company also expects a decline in sales in the same business of between 2.5% and 4% for the full year.
“Kroger is even better positioned to connect with our customers than we were before the pandemic as we focus relentlessly on leading with fresh means and accelerating with digital means,” said Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO of Kroger. “Kroger’s strong execution delivered identical first quarter sales results that exceeded our original expectations. Customers are reacting to the investments we have made in digitization, as our three-digit growth in sales since the beginning of 2019 shows. We are raising our forecast based on our good results and remain confident that we can consistently deliver attractive total shareholder returns. “
Kroger is based in Cincinnati and operates 2,800 under various banners in the United States