Kroger 2Q profit rises, helped by lower charges

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Kroger is reporting its fiscal second-quarter net income climbed 14 percent, helped by lower charges as revenue increased.

The country's largest traditional supermarket operator is also lifting the low end of its fiscal 2013 outlook for a key revenue metric.

Shares are up in Thursday premarket trading.

Kroger Co., which owns Ralphs, its namesake stores and others, earned $317 million, or 60 cents per share, for the quarter, compared with $279 million, or 51 cents per share, last year.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $22.72 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of 59 cents per share on revenue of $22.69 billion.

Kroger now expects fiscal 2013 revenue at supermarkets open at least a year to increase 3 to 3.5 percent, excluding fuel. Prior guidance was for a 2.5 to 3.5 percent rise.

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