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KROGER ESTIMATES FOURTH QUARTER CASH FLOW AT LEAST 10 PERCENT AHEAD

 CINCINNATI, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) said today that preliminary fourth quarter results indicate strong increases over last year's fourth quarter in cash flow and earnings before extraordinary charges.
 Kroger said fourth quarter operating cash flow (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and LIFO charges) is expected to show an increase of at least 10 percent over the $251 million generated in 1991's fourth quarter.
 Total sales in the fourth quarter, which included an extra week, increased 11 percent over 1991. Identical food store sales, excluding the extra week, increased 1 percent over the same period a year ago.
 Kroger Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph A. Pichler said, "We are pleased with our fourth quarter performance. Our operating units performed well despite a very challenging operating environment. Several markets remain keenly competitive and will likely be under pressure through 1993."
 The company projected that net new supermarket square footage will average 3.5 percent per year over the next three years and that capital expenditures will total approximately $1 billion over that time frame.
 Earnings in 1993 and 1994 will further benefit from lower interest expense. Kroger indicated that 1992 interest expense was approximately $475 million, and that interest costs in 1993 should be in the range of $430-$440 million. The company said it expects interest expense to decline further in 1994.
 During 1992, Kroger issued $1.3 billion of new debt at an average rate of 9.11 percent, replacing debt with an average cost of more than 13 percent. Kroger's most expensive debt is callable in October of 1993.
 Complete, audited earnings will be released in early February.
 -0- 1/13/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Bernish (media), 513-762-1304; or Larry Turner (investor), 513-762-4911; both of The Kroger Company/
 (KR)


CO: The Kroger Company ST: Ohio IN: REA SU:

KK -- CL002 -- 4347 01/13/93 08:57 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1993
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